Cooking is a life skill that your child will carry into their adult life. I still remember the first time I was allowed to cook and I made some fried potato cakes from a recipe I had brought from school – they were the tastiest ever! If you’re planning a family dinner why not get your kids involved and kill two birds with one stone: cut down on the work for yourself and help with your children’s development. Yep, it’s a win – win!
How does cooking help your child’s development?
Cooking not only introduces your child the tastes, smells and texture of different foods, it introduces them to new cultures whilst encouraging creativity along the way. It makes your child aware of food hygiene, safety and encourages responsibility. Cooking also helps with fine motor control skills as your child manipulates dough, stirs, and cuts.
It helps with numeracy as your child calculates quantities and measures ingredients for recipes. Your child will also broaden their scientific knowledge by discovering the effects of different temperatures on ingredients and learn first hand about both physical and chemical changes as they take place.
Your child will learn new words by reading recipes and become organised by following the list or sequence of instructions. There is no doubt that cooking teaches children about healthy eating, too. It has tremendous benefits for your child, especially when combined with quality time and love.
How can young kids help you in the kitchen?
Whatever your child’s age, they can totally get involved in the cooking, you just have to allow them.
- Children up to 3 years old can help in the kitchen by stirring and sprinkling. They can help wash vegetables, mash potatoes or begin to shape some cookies with the dough.
- Children between the ages of 4 – 7, can start to measure out ingredients, cut up lining paper for baking trays and chop soft vegetables such as mushrooms. They could also rub together flour and butter for crumbles and biscuits or sieve and spread icing and use cookie cutters to make shapes for biscuits.
- Children aged between 8 – 11 can be a great help. They can cut up ingredients, measure, pour liquids, stir, mix and heat food in pans.
- If you have teenagers, allow them some space in the kitchen and encourage them to work through recipes independently. You will be surprised at the results.
Happy cooking! Let me know in the comments below how it went. 👩🍳
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Till next time…