In this blog post by Mama and The Word, we will look at why you should teach your children to cook. Does it really improve their confidence and life skills? Is there a marked improvement in their eating and willingness to try new things? Can cooking with your child be a fun experience for grown-ups too? Make sure to read to the end of this post, and don’t forget to grab my free guide
What Are The Benefits Of Teaching Your Children To Cook
There are numerous benefits to why you should teach your children to cook. Here I hope to show you all of the skills that you can provide your children within a fun environment.
They will gain many life skills that will be invaluable as they grow. Cooking is such a basic skill but it can be so much more than that. My children all love to cook nearly as much as they love to eat.
Everyone needs to eat but knowing that you can prepare & make food of any kind holds a great sense of achievement.
Read more here about learning to cook: https://goodfoodireland.ie/blog/choose-the-life-skill-of-learning-to-cook/
Hi I’m Gem
I am a busy Christain wife & mama. I have been married for the last 15 years to my best friend. We have four wonderfully individual children together, 15, 13, and 4 (x2).
We have lived in two different countries, traveled halfway around the world with our children, and back again. Experiencing some unique cultures, languages, and people. I found God along the way too.
It’s now my mission to share that journey with you and help you in your journey with God, your family, and your kitchen too. By giving you the tools and resources to help you grow closer to the Lord, understand your family more, and develop your skills in the kitchen.
Each of us has a god-given gift or talent that he created us with for His purpose. And if this is your first time visiting Mama & The Word, put a heart in the comment box below so I can officially welcome you to the community.
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What Skills Will Your Child Learn From Teaching Them To Cook
There are many skills that you can develop when teaching your children to cook. You probably don’t even realize how many things you can cover from such a basic everyday activity.
See below for a full list of all the skills that you can develop from a young age when you teach your child how to cook.
You will be amazed at the number of skills that you can teach your child through the medium of cookery.
Read More On Cooking In Early Years Here: https://www.earlyyearscareers.com/eyc/latest-news/why-the-early-years-should-teach-cooking/
Developing Your Children’s Life Skills By Teaching Them To Cook
We teach our children life skills every day. From dressing, brushing their teeth and hair to saying please and thank you and much more.
Cooking is a great life skill to teach your children from a young age. You can make the activity age-appropriate but all children love to mix, stir and pour.
Cooking allows children to understand the concept of sharing by taking turns & cooking or sharing the food that they have made with others.
It also allows them to show that they are grateful by making cakes and other items as a Thank you. Or they can give baked goods as a sign of friendship or show someone that you care.
The food that you cook or bake can be shared with grandparents, family, and friends. They can also learn about selling their items and that the things they produce have value.
Especially when it comes to raising money for school or charity.
Creating Family Time With Your Child While Teaching Them To Cook
From my childhood, the one thing other than holidays that I remember is cooking together with my mum and grandparents. It was always a fun experience.
To this day I don’t know how my grandfather made his sausages or his roast potatoes taste so delicious as my Nana’s herb stuffing or Yorkshire puddings.
These home comforts shape us as a family. we make the things we love for the ones we love the most. Teaching them to cook & share the experiences that we have had or how we make things is a gift to treasure.
It also teaches them life skills for their future & lets them into your fondest memories in such a special way.
I think we forget that food shapes a big part of our lives & we have a unique opportunity to share moments with our children and extended family with food made with love.
Building Maths Skills While Teaching Your Child To Cook
Cooking is a great opportunity to develop practical maths skills with your child through weighing, measuring, volume, capacity, and accuracy.
Using different measuring equipment such as teaspoons, tablespoons, cups, liters, grams, pounds, and kilos to name just a few.
Boosting Reading Skills When Teaching Your Child To Cook
Reading a recipe and understanding a recipe are two different things. This text is known as Procedural Text which is Non-Fiction.
It’s used for recipes, manuals, directions, etc which children will have to learn for later life. Introducing them early to these concepts will help your child’s understanding of these types of texts.
Encouraging your child to read the recipe with you & explain what ingredients are needed.
As well as what terms or expressions mean will help your child and also develop their skills with reading.
Introducing Scientific Concepts While Teaching Children To Cook
Teaching your child to cook can help them to learn a variety of scientific concepts in a fun way.
From showing your child how basic ingredients from the store cupboard can be changed and combined to make something.
What happens to liquids or solids when they are heated, chilled, or frozen. How things can rise or fall depends on what ingredients are used.
Whilst spending family time together and encouraging their social skills too.
Encourage Oral Vocabulary While Teaching Your Child To Cook
Talk to your child about what you are going to make, or what each item is or task requires.
Encourage them to talk about what they are doing or what comes next in the recipe.
This will help them to express what they are seeing whilst also practicing new vocabulary. For young children use simple phrases and language.
Build on introducing new words through ingredients and kitchen items too.
Promoting Social Skills When Teaching Your Child To Cook
Children can learn how to share and take turns cooking. They can also learn to share foods and cultures with the food we share with them.
We try to incorporate our mixed culture through our foods and our childhood experiences with our children. They love this so much.
They have such a varied palette and enjoy a variety of foods.
Meals around the table offer the whole family time to share, create memories, develop social skills and share their day with you.
Encouraging Your Child To Make Better Food Choices
In most areas in the western world, we are blessed to have such an abundance of choices when it comes to the food that we have on offer when shopping.
We can experience cuisine from around the world wherever we are and we can give our children this experience too. Just like us, they all have their chosen palette and this is developed from a very early age.
By exposing your child to a variety of flavors, textures, and tastes you will soon see what they prefer.
You can also encourage their food choices or help fussy eaters by giving them options or a variety of food at mealtimes.
By including them in the preparation of food it will also encourage them to try different foods as well as open their senses up to the taste, texture & visual appearance of the foods that they are using.
Encouraging & Developing Your Child’s Eating Habits
Encouraging children to experience different foods, textures and tastes can help them to find foods that they may not usually try.
When they make something through cooking and preparation they will be more inclined to try what they have made.
If not the first time possible the second or even third. However, they will always gain a sense of achievement from their efforts, especially if praised.
Read More Here On: How To Teach Your Children To Shop For Groceries
Appreciation For All Things Homemade While Teaching Your Child To Cook
Making something from scratch and understanding the processes involved in creating different foods or the amount of time different dishes take to make will give your child a better understanding of the process of preparing and making different foods.
They can also appreciate the time, care, and love that goes into the food that they eat.
Also, the pleasure that it can bring to make something for someone else is a great lesson to teach your youngster.
Developing Your Child’s Listening Skills While Teaching Them To Cook
It may seem more time-consuming or problematic to cook with your child but if you start the right way by encouraging them to listen to instructions and what you are asking them to do.
From finding certain ingredients to how much you need for the recipe that you are making.
When children enjoy an activity they will purposefully listen more intently and you will hold their attention.
Listen to instruction is a great skill to develop early on with children and it can then be built on as they grow.
Encouraging Fine Motor Skills While Teaching Your Child To Cook
From weighing out ingredients and holding the bowl to tipping or pouring the ingredients into the mixing bowl or food mixer.
To stirring, whisking, beating, kneading, rolling, or even pressing the on/ off button.
These actions are not only developing your child’s fine motor skills but also helping them to develop hand-eye coordination skills as well as gain an understanding of how to do these tasks too.
Building Confidence & Self Esteem While Teaching Your Children To Cook
As your child develops their life skills you will find that they grow in their confidence and their abilities.
From your praise and encouragement as they master new skills and tasks within the kitchen and home environment you will see your child blossom as they become more confident to try other tasks or skills.
Time spent in the kitchen allows you a fun space in which to praise, encourage and reward your child’s newfound skills.
It helps them to feel valued within the family unit as well as gives them purpose and a sense of achievement with the end product.
It allows them to be creative and express themselves.
My children only have to hear the pots and pans or see me get some ingredients out of the cupboard and they are there right next to me whether I want them or not because food excites them and that is a beautiful thing.
What You Can Learn From Cooking With Your Children
As a parent, we can also learn many things from our children by teaching them different skills.
Home cooking has long been perceived as a very female skill rather than something that can be enjoyed by anyone.
However, it is a skill that should be shared with both your boys and your girls.
Cooking or gaining confidence in the kitchen is a great skill to share.
Enjoying what you make and what you eat and what you can share with others is a great skill to have and to share with your children whilst teaching them to cook.
My children know as soon as they see the ingredients come out that something fun is going to happen.
Teaching my children how to cook allows me to share my food experiences with them. How I learned as a child and pass on memories and skills that will stay with them as they grow.
What I Have Learnt From My Children While Teaching Them To Cook
It also shows me how my children learn. We are all unique even the twins and they all learn in different ways. Some will learn visually whilst others will learn through instruction.
Cooking with my children allows me the opportunity to build their confidence and trust through this shared experience. From teaching them to handle ingredients to later on using a knife and other equipment safely.
Allowing them the space to perform these tasks and develop their skills shows them that I trust them to do certain tasks whilst maintaining a safe environment.
This process has also encouraged me to take my time and be patient while I share new skills with my children and teach them new techniques.
It is also great to see my children blossom as they learn.
It provided me with the opportunity for me to communicate with my child and guide and instruct them.
They in turn must learn to listen and watch and follow the commands given. Reading new texts together and following the steps set out in recipes is another great skill as well as developing new vocabulary.
Don’t be afraid of a little mess or chaos in the beginning as their skills develop both you and them will become calmer and happier in this new environment together.
You will create some wonderful memories as well as some delicious food.
Have you tried cooking with your children? What do you love most about teaching them to cook? Has it made a difference to your quality time with them? Let me know in the comments below!