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.