There are plenty of reasons to get your kids cooking now, and cultivate skills for later. The United States is seeing a great increase in the number of both children and adults with obesity problems, diabetes, and other medical complications related to their diets. Now, more than ever, it’s important to get your kids cooking, and learning how to create healthy meals now and in the future. It can introduce them to a variety of different foods, and make them more interested in eating healthier and more natural foods. The ability to cook is also an excellent life skill that will come in handy throughout their lives. The ability to prepare their own healthy well-balanced meals helps them move a little closer to independence and greater responsibility. Getting your kids cooking can also be an excellent opportunity to build stronger ties within your family. Food preparation is a fun and useful way to spend quality time with your kids, and encourage their learning, sense of responsibility, and health. Here’s how to get your kids cooking today.
Encourage Them, Whatever Their Age
Children of all ages can begin to learn the joys of cooking. It’s never to late or too early to start introducing them to cooking, baking, and preparing food. Even young children are able to assist with meal preparation. Giving them simple tasks, like mixing and spreading ingredients will encourage them to participate. On the other end of the spectrum, teenagers that can’t make anything more than a peanut butter sandwich can start learning how to cook for themselves at any point. Kids that start to learn and experiment in the kitchen early tend to have a greater respect for food and food choices, an increased sense of independence, and a greater interest in a diverse range of foods.
Make Cooking Fun
Try giving kids jobs within the kitchen that are both fun for them, and within their range of abilities. Obviously, you don’t want young children using sharp knives or manipulating a hot stove, but they can have great fun measuring out ingredients or kneading bread dough. Get them to decorate a cake, or arrange topping on a pizza. Encourage them to take initiative, and read recipes by themselves. Not only will young kids improve their reading ability, it will also help them learn how to use numbers and fractions. The time that they are able to spend with their family can also make it a special activity.
Find New Ways to do Things
One of the best ways to keep cooking interesting for kids and adults alike is to try new recipes and experiment in the kitchen. Cooking is a great sensory experience, and it can stimulate an interest in many different ingredients and dishes from around the world. Don’t let cooking become boring by making the same things over and over again. Inject life into the kitchen by trying new things and exercising creativity. Ask for your kids’ input as well, so they get a say in the matter.