Cooking with your Children

Why you Should Let your Children Help in the Kitchen

There’s one thing that my kids absolutely loved doing when they were little and that was cooking with their Mom.  We would let them help with the various meals and it made them feel so important.  What they actually got to help with depending on their age at the time.  Obviously, if they were really little they couldn’t be close to the stove.  This memory will be with them forever, which gives us such a warm feeling.

Boost Confidence

The special memory isn’t the only thing kids will get from this important bonding time.  They’ll learn critical skills, get quality time alone with their parents, and even get a boost of self-esteem.  I can’t think of a better activity to do with them.  Not only will they feel special, but they can tell everyone at dinner (or whatever meal) that they helped.  It’s comparable to hanging up their drawings on the refrigerator, but a little more essential in my eyes.  Cooking is something everyone needs to learn at some time or another, so why not start now?

Build Skills

When you get toddlers/kids involved in cooking there are so many teaching moments.  There’s the hand and eye coordination that they need to learn.  You can simply guide them gently to pour in an ingredient without spilling.  However, if it is spilled we don’t need to make a big deal.  That’s a teaching moment too!  Show them that even parents make mistakes and it’s ok.  They can help crack an egg and you can explain where eggs come from (within reason, depending on their age).  The older kids can learn about measuring the various ingredients.  I remember my kids loved shaping the meat into a loaf because it was like playing with dough.

Confidence is one of those skills that can be learned.  Not to mention, it can help a child grow up in a healthy state of mind.  I struggled with it as I’m sure many of you have, so don’t you want better for your kids?  Activities such as cooking can build that self-esteem, but only as long as parents show patience.  You can’t get mad when they knock something over because, well, kids do that.  Heck, we’re all human which means we all make mistakes.

What Else can they Learn?

What else will children learn?  Well, when my kids were little I even let them create their very own dishes with whatever foods they wanted to put in.  The only stipulation was they had to at least try it.  This taught them creativity!  They weren’t afraid of making mistakes because that’s how they learned.  If this didn’t taste good with this then they wouldn’t do that again.  My kids still talk about those dishes that they made.  Some of them were atrocious but at least they tried!  Creativity is such an important skill for them to learn.  It helps them to let go of fear and gives them confidence in themselves.

Quality Time

When it comes to bonding with your little ones just take the time to be with them.  Spend that quality time on their level and they will love you for it.  There’s nothing more precious than a child that has a great relationship with their Mom, Dad, or Grandparents.  Give your mini’s more than just cooking and love them through the process.  You and the kids won’t regret the time spent with them.  Enjoy their ages right now because time really does go fast.

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