We all have to eat, that’s a fact! And we all want our children to eat well. They will begin to learn their eating habits from a young age, so it’s great to get them involved in the kitchen when they are young. This will help your kids learn to cook in later years.
Many people will bake with their children, which is a fantastic start. Measuring and mixing ingredients, kneading and shaping dough, coming up with flavour combinations are all necessary kitchen skills. But we want to make sure our kids are learning about all kinds of food, not just baking treats.
Having them help out with making breakfast, lunch and dinner (maybe not all in one day if you value your sanity!) is really beneficial to the whole family. Here is why…
- It is proven that if kids help make a meal, then they are more likely to eat it. Picky eaters will know exactly what has gone into a meal so will know there are no nasty surprises.
- They are learning the types of food we eat at different meals. While you can have cereal for dinner, it is usually a breakfast food!
- They are practising skills. By giving them age appropriate kitchen jobs, they are learning. Peeling, chopping recipe reading for the older ones, or measuring, adding items to the bowl or stirring for the younger ones.
- They are learning to put together a meal. They will learn all the vital parts for a healthy meal, what goes together and what doesn’t. Teach them balance with a good mixture of vegetables, proteins and carbs.
- They are learning to be self-sufficient. It may seem a long way off yet, but some day your little ones will be out flatting and taking care of themselves. Having basic cooking skills will mean that they will have the confidence to cook for themselves and are eating meals more nutritious than baked beans and leftover fish and chips!
- Teach them all the skills of the kitchen, including cleaning up! Unfortunately creating a meal does not stop when the plates hit the table. There are still dishes and utensils to be washed, dried and put away!
Try and get your kids to help out in the kitchen regularly. It doesn’t have to be every day, but regular practice will help them retain their cooking skills. Maybe have one night a week that you make a family meal together. You never know, at some point down the track, your little chef might be cooking you dinner!
How did you help your little ones learn in the kitchen? Let us know in the comments below or over on our Facebook page!
Gemma is a kiwi Mum of one and is the Editor for The Baby View. She also works with preschool children, loves cooking, loves sunshine, loves chocolate and loses countless hours at a time looking at cute baby pictures on Instagram!