How many parents do you know who frequently and actively involve their kids in the cooking process? I’d put my money on “not a lot”. Yet, there are some undeniable and truly profound benefits of cooking with your children.
They can not only help you spend quality time with your loved ones, but also instill positive habits in their hearts and minds, helping them along the way to adulthood.
After all, who doesn’t want their kids to grow up into healthy, thriving, and self-sufficient taxpayers? Yes, teaching your kids to cook will influence their lives beyond the kitchen in the long run, so let’s take a look at why you should involve your children in the cooking process.
Spending much-needed quality time with the family
There are two things a modern family home never seems to have enough of: storage, and free time. While the former problem can be easily mended with a couple of smart storage ideas, the latter presents a more difficult challenge many stressed-out parents never manage to overcome.
But there is a simple solution. Think of it this way: you have to cook dinner, and you don’t like the fact that your kids are wasting away at their smartphone screens while you’re doing it. So why not unglue them from the screen and invite them to help you out? It’s a simple way to keep them interested, spark their imagination, spend quality time together, and even teach them a couple of useful things in the process.
Building a positive attitude
Following the same principle, this is your golden opportunity to teach your children how to be proactive, take initiative, and build a “doer” mindset so many of today’s youth lack. I mean, if you don’t teach them how to whip up an omelet or brainstorm simple culinary delights on their own, how do you expect them to leave you alone when they move out? They won’t! You’ll have to “pop by” at a moment’s notice to cook for them.
So use every cooking session to impart a tiny drop of wisdom and knowledge into their developing minds. But don’t force it on them, as kids are not very receptive to lectures from their parents. Instead, make it a game, explain how tastes work together, how easy it is to think of new, exciting dishes, as well as how fun it is to follow a healthy eating habit.
Teaching children about healthy eating
Nutrition is one of the most important elements of a healthy lifestyle, so naturally, you’d want your kids to stay away from sweets and processed foods, and learn to love wholesome, healthy foods that will ensure a vibrant and positive future. Well, easier said than done.
Sugar is addictive, and processed foods are very convenient, so not only do you need to explain to them the rewards of healthy eating, but you also want to use reliable cookware such as Scanpan to preserve the taste of every ingredient as well as its nutritional value. Remember, if the food is delicious, there is no reason why the little munchkins would reach for unhealthy substitutes. What’s more, it might even get your picky eater (every family has one) to start eating everything you serve!
Dealing with picky eaters in a positive way
If a child doesn’t want to eat it, there’s not much you can do about it. You can beg, you can yell (don’t yell at your kids), you can try to bargain, you can even try to make it into a game, but if your broccoli tastes like cardboard there’s no way that airplane is landing on their tongue. Sorry.
Anyway, none of these tactics have any positive long-term benefits and they may even prove detrimental to your relationship. Instead, by involving your kids in (almost) every cooking adventure, you will significantly increase the probability of them actually eating the dish when it’s served. Why? Because picking the ingredients and molding them into a tasty dish is highly rewarding, and your little picky eater will have the chance to realize that there is no boogeyman in the casserole.
Beyond the kitchen: instilling lifelong values
As you might have gathered by now, I’ve been hinting at the fact that this process, if done frequently and consistently, can have profound benefits on your child’s physical health, as well as emotional and psychological development. Not only are you teaching your kids how to lead a healthy and happy life, but you’re also preparing them to one day build a healthy family of their own. Now, if that’s not a picture that brings tears of joy to every mother’s eyes, I don’t know what is.
Moms, dads, there are so many reasons why you should be cooking with your kids on a regular basis. But if there is anything you can take home with you, let it be this: health and happiness are built through learning and positive encouragement – and cooking just might be the way to teach your children how to achieve both.
This is a guest post written Cooper Klein, an entrepreneur with a degree in Marketing. He’s interested in real estate and home decor. In order to spend more time with his family, Cooper decided to take a break, and he’s currently working from home as a blogger for Smooth Decorator and several other sites. You can find him on Twitter.