Cooking With Children

IMG_5818There are numerous benefits to cooking with children. You can start cooking with a child as young as one, they can help “dump” pre-measured ingredients into a bowl and help mix with your assistance.

Not only is cooking a great way to bond with your child, it is also a wonderful learning opportunity. For a young child, cooking is a powerful sensory experience.

  • Touch – feel the different textures of fruits and vegetables- how do these feel in your hand? In your mouth? Knead dough. Cookie dough feels different than bread dough.
  • Sight – watch as rice or pasta changes from hard to soft and doubles in size. When you mix dry flour and yeast with water, it becomes a gooey stretchy dough.
  • Sound – listen carefully as stir-fry veggies sizzle in the pan. The whisk sounds different than the egg beater.
  • Smell – spices have such a distinct fragrance by themselves, but when they are combined or heated the aroma changes. Cookies baking in the oven smell so much sweeter than the raw dough.
  • Taste – of course, we all know that the ultimate goal of cooking is to create something delicious that pleases the taste buds.

As your child gets older, cooking introduces mathematical and scientific principles such as measurement, precision and chemical reactions (how does bread rise?)

Most importantly though, cooking teaches an essential life skill while also creating a healthy relationship with food. Children are more likely to try new foods (including vegetables) when they have been part of preparing the meal.

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