How to Make Healthy Cooking a Family Affair
Enlisting kids to help out in the kitchen can have numerous benefits beyond an extra pair of little hands assisting us:
- Cooking teaches children useful skills, including cooperation, coordination, math (fractions and more) and problem-solving.
- Cooking is a bonding experience for parents and kids.
- Cooking an array of things, including fruits and vegetables, helps children develop a healthy relationship with the foods they eat, which is associated with better health and eating habits as they become teens and adults.
No matter the age, there's always a way a child can help cook. For example:
- All kids can learn to talk about what foods they like and why (in terms of taste, touch, texture, etc.).
- Very young children can help assemble and mix simple ingredients, tear lettuce for salad, add pre-measured ingredients and maybe even crack eggs if they're careful!
- Older children can start measuring ingredients, use a kid-friendly knife for easy-to-chop ingredients, learn to follow basic recipes and mix together ingredients that form more complex dishes.
- Teens can cultivate even more cooking abilities such as knife skills (initially supervised), more precise measuring and weighing, operating appliances independently and creating their own recipes.
We’re not talking about zapping frozen entrees. How about real ingredients and healthy meals straight out of the microwave oven!?
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