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13 Benefits to Having Your Child Cook with You in the Kitchen
Some of you may think about the work involved and the increased time needed to make a meal with your little one but when you read about the 13 benefits to having your child join you in the kitchen, you may wonder why you ever doubted asking them to join you! Here are the benefits:
- Children, even babies love being in the kitchen with you. They are delighted to be close to you, to converse with you (or have you talk to them if they can’t talk yet!), to watch what you are doing and to bond with you.
- A baby’s mirror neurons allow them to watch what you do and duplicate your actions and emotions in their minds, even if they are only sitting in their seats on the kitchen counter!
- As children see raw food transform into delicious, cooked dishes, and have a hand in that, they see themselves as capable learners; that perception transfers into other endeavours as well.
- Studies show that when children participate in household chores, starting at age three, they are more likely to complete their education, have successful careers and enjoy good relationships with others.
- Children get to have a sensory experience as they crumble the goat cheese, add dried cranberries to a measuring cup and tear apart the chives or cilantro. The touching and smelling encode certain memories in our minds. It might be that years later, they will remember the smell of the chives and think back to their memories with you in the kitchen.
- Hands on experiences such as counting carrots, measuring ingredients and following recipes teach a child real world math, which enables a better understanding of abstract mathematical concepts.
- Reading recipes helps a child practice and learn to read.
- Cooking and tasting the results, a little while later, provides great lessons in cause and effect and more often than not, encourages your child to eat and enjoy a variety of foods, which is so important in preventing a picky eater.
- The pace of the kitchen is slower than the television, computer or other aspects of our lives, so spending time in the kitchen helps both parent and child get away from our over-stimulating world, slow down and live in the moment and shows children a place where life can be this calm.
- Children who help in the kitchen learn useful skills, such as how to prepare and combine foods, understand measurements and cooking times, and eventually, make simple and then more complex meals for themselves.
- Children feel honoured to be included in real work that includes solving real challenges, such as fixing a lumpy cake mix!
- When a child is given the task of cutting an avocado with a butter knife or setting the table, to name some examples, they know they are contributing towards making dinner, which makes them feel good inside, one of the most important things you can do for your child.
- The preparation of food is no longer a given when fast food is so easy to come by. Teaching a child to nurture themselves through food, sets a child up for a lifetime of good health and is the biggest contributor to aging gracefully.
Welcome your children into the kitchen! Reap the benefits and enjoy your creations.
Tell us about the special times you have shared with your children in the kitchen. And please feel free to leave a link back to your own blog too if you have one, via the commentluv feature here on the site.
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