Kids 'n Kinship

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Kids and Cooking

Monday, May 22, 2017

Cooking.  Most of us do it on a regular basis, but have you done it with your mentee? Cooking together provides many valuable lessons and keeps their brains and hands busy!!

Teaching Your Child to Cook: 7 Surprising Benefits of Cooking with Kids

Most children have phases during childhood when baking or cooking is a keen interest. This natural curiosity provides adults with the perfect opportunity to capitalize on a great learning experience--the art and science of cooking.
 
 
Sadly, many American adults do not cook, citing lack of knowledge, not enough time to cook or shop, or having someone else in charge of cooking. In a world where home cooked meals equal healthier fare, teaching kids to cook is a critical element….
 


Not only are kids of all ages interested in what goes on in the kitchen, there are many benefits from getting involved. Here's just a short list of the wisdom that gets passed on when kids cook:
1. Math Skills: Doubling a recipe requires addition (or multiplication) skills, halving it requires division, and recipe fractions like 1/2 cup and 3/4 teaspoon bring math applications into the kitchen. Often, kids don't recognize they are practicing math!
2. Comprehension:Reading and understanding step-by-step directions, adding ingredients in sequence, and techniques such as folding and blending, are all important components to yielding the finished food product. Helping your child fine tune his reading comprehension skills at the same time doesn't hurt!
3. Real Life Science: Cooking is a science experiment. Too much salt, baking powder, not enough flour, or the wrong timing and you're likely to have a flop on your hands. Cooking provides an opportunity for kids to get hands-on experience with basic science.
4. Self-Esteem: Cooking allows kids to get instant feedback, which helps them learn and grow in self-knowledge. Learning a new skill, such as baking or cooking, is known to help grade school children with healthy self-esteem development.
5. Communication: A relaxed atmosphere in the kitchen offers an opportunity to talk, about anything! Adults can take advantage of this, especially with teens, as communication is a key element in a well-adjusted, healthy child.
6. Life Skills: Cooking is a life skill, much like driving a car, learning to read, or swimming. As children grow and get closer to adulthood, the job of feeding becomes theirs. Start the cooking lessons at a young age so the transition to adult cook is easy later on.
7. Fun! Last but not least, cooking is fun! Having fun with a child in the kitchen builds positive memories, good vibes, and good food. With all the benefits of teaching kids to cook, and no limits with starting, what are you waiting for?

In addition,

Exposure to scratch cooking helps kids develop a mature palate and a taste for fresh, wholesome ingredients. The earlier kids become accustomed to nutritious foods, the less likely they will acquire a taste for processed foods.
Kids are much more likely to eat what they make. Is there anything more fun than eating your art project? Cooking creates a sense of ownership. When kids help in the kitchen there are fewer meal-time battles and more willingness to try new foods.
Meals prepared from scratch usually contain more nutrients and fewer calories, chemicals and sweeteners than pre-packaged foods and restaurant meals.
Cooking together provides a natural way to discuss nutrition and the impact that food choices have on the environment. The more educated children are about food, the more likely they will appreciate your suggestions to eat something healthy.
Spending time in the kitchen gives them confidence. Kids thrive on feeling accomplished. Cooking is an ideal way to boost self-worth and teach responsibility. There is nothing cuter than watching children proudly serving their food to others.
Preparing meals together means quality time. Cooking with children when they are young offers an opportunity to communicate with them on a regular basis. Your time chatting and cooking in the kitchen together becomes even more important as they reach the adolescent and teenage years.
What else do they learn? Science, language, counting, fractions, budgeting, weighing, sequencing, measuring, problem-solving, sharing, fine motor skills, reader, and learning about other cultures- to name just a few important things!
Excerpt from Easy Meals to Cook with Kids by Julie Negrin © 2010

 Are you curious now?  Here are some web sites with some great ideas!!

http://www.kidspot.com.au/kitchen/occasions/cooking-with-kids
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/packages/recipes-for-kids/cooking-with-kids/
https://artfulparent.com/cooking-kids-35-fun-ideas-recipes 

If you try some ideas here, be sure to send me a picture!!  
Posted by Melynda Galioto
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Kids 'n Kinship
14870 Granada Avenue #127
Apple Valley MN, 55124
952-892-6368