Cooking at Home with Kids
"Mommy, I wanna do it!" "Can I help pleeease?!" These are two phrases that are constantly repeated by kiddos eager to help any parent and/or caregiver cook. Understandably, we as caregivers are resistant and only allow the kids the most simple tasks because otherwise, it take a million times longer and it definitely takes a village to clean up the aftermath. Despite this, we need to be welcoming and encouraging more kitchen assistance for the following reasons:
They will become less picky
Yes! Say good-bye to plates thrown on the ground, fed to the dogs and fits at the dinner table. Well, maybe not a total good-bye but definitely less frequent instances of the aforementioned actions. Because they helped make the dish, they will most likely eat it. Probably not all of it but a lot more of it than they would have otherwise. Even if they don't want the finished product, they may try a few of the ingredient while cooking.
Its a great way to talk to them about nutrition
Why do we eat the foods we eat besides because they're delicious? While they cook, explain to them what each ingredient is providing to our body. Dark leafy greens are providing fiber so that our guts and hearts function to the best of their ability. They are also providing calcium for strong bones. That hamburger is providing protein to help our cells functions. It is also providing iron to make red blood cells etc...
Cooking fosters independence and confidence
Allowing kids to be involved is teaching them to actually cook for themselves and to choose wisely. Not only that, being proud of the meal they had a hand in making will give them the confidence to try again furthermore, that confidante will transcend into other aspects of their lives allowing them to try new things.
This is just a short list of the possibilities as there are many more. We encourage you to go ahead and let your kiddo, student and/or client get involved in the kitchen. The results will be worth the mess.