Cooking with your children has many benefits:
- Real life lessons. They are learning how to cook. An added benefit is that your future sons- or daughters-in-law will love you for it.
- Bonding time. The best time to have conversations with your kids. The more one-on-one time we give our kids, the more they tend to open up. Perhaps you could designate a special day for each child to have with Mom and/or Dad in the kitchen.
- More peas, please! If kids help prepare items such as vegetables, as well as help you shop for them, they are more likely to try them during mealtime. And kids that learn to eat well are more likely to eat well as adults. Also, they will less likely snack on junk food when you are preparing a healthy meal. By reading labels together and showing them what goes into a healthy meal, you will be teaching them great life-long eating habits.
- A side of self-confidence. By letting your children help in the kitchen and try their hand at cooking, you are providing them with a healthy dose of self-esteem.
- Building traditions. Pulling out the family recipe book together is a great way to share important family traditions as well as build a good foundation for starting your own. It will also give you an opportunity to share some of your fondest memories with your children.
- Reducing their risk to use drugs This may seem far-fetched but it’s true. A report from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University says that kids who have open lines of communication with their parents, a strong bond and the support, praise, and acceptance by their parents decrease their chances of becoming drug abusers. Son, here’s your spatula.
- Scrapping the screen time Kids that are in the kitchen cooking will spend less time parked in front of the computer or television screen. Engaging in a more productive activity, they are actually contributing something to the household. Genius! Think about all the arguments you won’t be having!
- Foster their creativity As they become more confident in their way around the kitchen, cooking can give them an opportunity to flex their creative muscles. By fostering a creative spirit, you are giving your child another opportunity to explore who they are.
- Teaching moments Kids get to see how things change through various processes in the kitchen: chopping, mixing, heating, freezing. Won’t their teachers be impressed when they come back to school with hands-on knowledge of their latest science lesson?
- Showing a little love Not that saying “I love you” doesn’t matter—it does, but sometimes actions do speak louder than words. What professes your love to your kids more than inviting them to completely make a mess in the kitchen?