Cooking is a great way to bring kids and parents together and encourage healthy eating! Here's 3 reasons why cooking with your children is important and how to get started.
1. Cooking can be a great learning experience! Having children participate in the cooking process can help them learn basic math skills (counting, weighing, measuring) and develop language. Try creating a menu together and learning the nutrition involved in the menu. Discuss the food groups and what types of foods fit into each group.
2. Cooking promotes a feeling of responsibility and encourages healthy eating. Teach kids about why foods are considered "healthy" or "unhealthy" and encourage cooking with fruits and vegetables. Involving children in the food preparation process promotes more mindful food choices and eating patterns. Also, the more invested in the meal, the more likely the child is to enjoy it - kids are much more likely to eat food they make themselves.
3. It teaches your kids a basic and essential life skill! Cooking is an important skill and involving children at an early age helps set them up for future success.
How do you start cooking with your kids? Start with an easier dish, or breakfast on the weekends where you have more time and let them try out the below tasks.
1. Adding ingredients to a mixing bowl. 2. Stirring batter. 3. Assembling a pizza or sandwich. 4. Tearing apart food (such as lettuce). 5. Drying greens in a salad spinner. 6. Setting the table for the meal.
1. Peeling fruits and vegetables (with a small peeler). 2. Mashing potatoes. 3. Stirring ingredients. 4. Rolling out dough and using cookies cutters. 5. Rinsing vegetables. 6. Squeezing lemons or limes with a plastic juicer. 7. Grating cheese. 8. Cracking eggs. 9. Measuring ingredients.