As a parent, I want to take every opportunity I have to teach my children new skills. One of the most enjoyable ways for me—and my kids, too—is when they assist me in the kitchen.
When my kids are ready, I have them assist me in the kitchen preparing our meals together. Having your children help you in the kitchen can teach them so many skills and it’s a great time to bond with them too. These are some of the benefits of having your children help you in the kitchen.
1. They’re less likely to be picky eaters. One of the greatest benefits I have noticed in having my children help me in the kitchen is that they’re less likely to be picky about what they eat. Kids are less likely to be picky if they help prepare their meals. A few of my little ones have been the pickiest eaters, but when I have them mash the potatoes or beat the eggs, I’ll notice that they’re more likely to eat what’s on their plate.
2. They’re learning a lifelong skill. When I was growing up, we would always have a home cooked meal and I make sure to do the same for my family. It's important to me that they eat healthy meals that I've prepared for them and that they learn how to cook so they'll do the same for themselves when they're older.
3. It will help boost their self-confidence. Smelling the scrumptious cookies that they helped make come out of the oven and seeing the great job that they did will help build their self-esteem.
4. They will learn how to follow instructions. A valuable lesson for kids to learn when they are always asking why they have to do certain things. When they see the beautiful meal on the table that they helped make, they can see the results of properly following instructions.
5. You can spend quality time with them. Why wait for dinner time to spend quality time together? Instead of having them do an activity or watch a TV show, I have my children assist me in the kitchen so we have more quality time together. This is the time when we can also relax and talk about anything since we are done with work for the day.
6. They will learn how to be part of a team. Before they join a sports team or club, kids first learn how to be part of a team within their own family. By helping out in the household, they learn how they can make a significant contribution.
7. It will help them learn math. It’s a fun learning experience for them. For example, with the use of measuring cups, they have a visual that will help them learn fractions.
8. It will help them learn science. It’s a great activity to teach them about science. For instance, when baking a cake, you can explain how the baking powder makes bread rise.
9. They will learn about physical safety. Children are quite curious and there are times when they are in the kitchen and see a flame and wouldn’t think twice about placing their hands near it.
10. You can teach them about food safety. While your children are assisting you in the kitchen, you can talk about why it’s important to wash your food well before you cook it and explain about the dangers if you don’t. You can also discuss why it’s important to clean cooking utensils well, the importance of expiration dates and how to properly store food.