Category: Cooking with Kids

Cooking with Kids

A A recent survey by Uncle Ben’s Beginners noticed that 90% of parents believe it’s important for their children to cook. Still, only 1/3 actually cook with their children on a weekly basis. Parents said that they would cook with their children more frequently if:

  • They had more time.
  • Their children were more interested.
  • They had better gastronomic skills.
  • It hadn’t made such a mess.

I’m going to be the first to admit that cooking with kids, may sound more hassle than it is worth. It takes much more cleanliness and patience than cooking on your own, but did you know that having your child to cook with you is important for their development? Ultimately yes, it might sound a little odd, but the fact is that it benefits your child at several levels from building an outstanding personality to improving visual and bilateral coordination -the ability to use both sides of the body at the same time in a controlled and organized manner-, cognitive and sensory skills (proprioception – lifting heavy pans, hot and cold sensations), etc. 

Here we will list several cooking activities that your kid can do showing the benefits of each activity:

Baking a Cake

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One of the most important points that you should consider to get your kids involved and interested in preparing recipes and baking is to let them play a role in the process. Instead of asking children to just watch the preparation of a cake recipe, give them something to do! Of course, parents should offer children age-appropriate activities when making a cake recipe. Letting Older kids participate and do more than younger ones is an excellent point to mention, but they can all play a role in making the cake. Putting together a cake recipe with children allows them to learn more about baking and cooking while creating entertainment for everyone to enjoy.

It can be any type of cake, let your child choose! When you start baking, you first need to get all the right ingredients and tools out together, this improves your child’s language by increasing vocabulary, recognizing tools, and linking the usage of them with the shape and color also enhances memory. Kids also have to follow directions, which enhances receptive language skills. While baking, also you should explain each step and have your child describe what they are doing for even greater language development. 

For more advanced learning, have them predict what will happen next or guess what the next ingredient would be.

Making cookies

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As they say, there’s never enough family time; sometimes, weekends reschedule a normal day-to-day routine. This gives you time to be with your kids and gives you a good chance to plan meals, look for recipes, and share some fun ideas about cooking delicious desserts. Simple choices, such as chocolate cookies!

Who doesn’t love cookies? Making chocolate cookies has many benefits for your child. Mixing the ingredients, rolling the dough and using cookie cutters are all great ways to enhance a child’s fine motor strength, control, bilateral coordination, in-hand manipulation, grasp patterns, fine motor control and coordination, separation of the two sides of the hand, and hand dominance. These are skills needed to develop academic skills such as writing, cutting, and coloring.

Fruit and cheese kabobs

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Safety is an essential thing to keep in mind when it comes to allowing children of any age to enter the kitchen. Ensure that the guidelines on food safety are fully understood and applied diligently. Posting a checklist or chart of kitchen safety tips in the kitchen is the right way to help younger kids remember them. For example, they should know how to wash their hands thoroughly before cooking. Hold your long hair pulled back and try to avoid loose clothes.

Fruit and cheese kabobs are healthy and easy snacks, and preparing it is so much fun! Let your child help you cut the fruits using safe knives. This will improve their skills and help them focus on keeping their fingers safe. Also, since fruits are full of different colors and each fruit has a different name, this will increase your child’s vocabulary. It can be a family activity that brings everyone together and creates a bonding experience.

Who doesn’t love cookies? Making chocolate cookies has many benefits for your child. Mixing the ingredients, rolling the dough and using cookie cutters are all great ways to enhance a child’s fine motor strength, control, bilateral coordination, in-hand manipulation, grasp patterns, fine motor control and coordination, separation of the two sides of the hand, and hand dominance. These are skills needed to develop academic skills such as writing, cutting, and coloring.

Adding spices and other ingredients

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Encourage your child to help you prepare different recipes, either by reading the recipe, which helps enhance reading comprehension or add the ingredients which increase focus and attention.

Children learn by touching, tasting, feeling, smelling, listening, and visual senses. You might not find a better idea than preparing a dinner dish with your kids, using different distinguishable spices to have all these learning and improvement methods for your kid at once!

By days, your kids will know how to distinguish different things using their senses, which will gradually make them smarter!

Turning on/off utensils

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Countertops, tools, and utensils should be cleaned properly before use. It is particularly important for your children to understand the consequences of eating food that has gone bad or cooking with contaminated utensils. Showing them how to use oven mitts, potholders, and cooling rack for hot items, in order to avoid accidents, all things should be well away from the edges of tables and countertops. To prepare for any emergency situations, post an emergency contact sheet and a first responder at an easily accessible location. Children will know how to use a fire extinguisher and how to escape if there’s a fire.

 Asking your child to turn on/off utensils such as dough maker switch will enhance their fine motor skills, sequencing, and attention. It will also make them feel good about themselves and that they have helped you.

Cooking cold meals for independent eating habits

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Your child can become ready to cook his own Mac and Cheese or PB & J sandwiches. Since cooking is a skill that is needed to be an independent adult. Kids can learn early on how to make their own sandwich, pour milk, or heat something in the microwave. Older kids can learn to cook meals for themselves and the family. This will allow them to be more independent and responsible individuals and boost self-confidence because when a child is able to successfully complete a recipe and make a meal, they will feel a sense of pride and confidence. In addition, as kids cook more, their level of independence increases, which in turn boosts their level of self-confidence and self-esteem. Cooking also teaches kids various safety lessons such as not to touch a hot stove or how to use a knife correctly.

 Asking your child to turn on/off utensils such as dough maker switch will enhance their fine motor skills, sequencing, and attention. It will also make them feel good about themselves and that they have helped you.

Clean-up chores

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Nobody likes chores that much, but if your child gets used to doing chores from a young age, it will make it easier for them when they get older. You can ask your child to help you with different chores such as cleaning the dishes, unloading the dishwasher, cleaning the table, and a lot more. This will make your kid more responsible and help teach teamwork.

There is so much more. You can really help your child develop different skills that are important throughout life.

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Children begin by loving their parents, as they grow older, sometimes they forgive them

– Paul Tournier

Finally, beside healthier central nervous system development, a beautiful and charismatic personality building, allowing children to help bake a cake or participate in making a dinner dish gives them an opportunity to learn more about the food they eat and general nutritional information. No doubt also that the time spent with the family strengthens relation bonding and puts you nearer to your kid’s hearts. They also get a chance to enjoy eating something they helped prepare for! your kids learn about making a cake, buying ingredients, and cleaning up the mess. In addition, in each baking project, they will become more used to the way things work in the kitchen. Unfortunately, many children are ignorant of how to prepare the simplest meals for themselves. Alternatively, your young children who have an opportunity to help make meals in the kitchen are more capable of making dishes for themselves as they get older. The cake baking project and other cooking projects give the kids a tremendous sense of accomplishment and confidence to try out more cooking projects. 

So are you ready for all that fun? Next time you cook a meal or bake a cake, let your kids help!