If the past year has taught us anything, it’s how important family is to us. As we move towards more positive and happier times, let’s make the most of family moments and use cooking and meal preparation as a bonding experience to create special memories for our children.
Encouraging children to take an active interest in cooking and preparing meals is a great way to teach them about a healthy lifestyle and introduce them to a wide variety of delicious and nutritious foods. The time that’s spent in the kitchen can also be a lesson in life skills. It’s easy to incorporate science, spelling, fractions and languages into the mix. Who knew learning could be effortless amongst all that tasty fun!
Here are five ways to enjoy cooking with your children while raising an adventurous eater along the way:
- Engage other senses. For a hesitant eater, tasting an unfamiliar food can sometimes be intimidating. You can help your child explore foods when cooking using other senses besides taste. Kneading dough, rinsing and peeling vegetables, and tearing lettuce all involve touching food and being comfortable with texture while developing fine motor skills.
- Use cooking to raise smart kids. There are so many lessons that can be taught while cooking. Math concepts like counting, measurement, and fractions naturally unfold when navigating a recipe with children. While cooking with your child, practice new vocabulary as you describe how food looks, feels, smells and tastes. Following a recipe from start to finish helps to build the skills for planning and completing projects.
- Make cooking part of the family culture. Family bonding starts in the kitchen when you cook together. Family meal preparation is an ideal opportunity to celebrate your cultural heritage by passing down recipes.
- Keep it safe. Teach children the importance of staying safe while cooking by showing them how to hold kitchen tools. Always supervise children when cooking to ensure they are engaging in safe and age-appropriate tasks. The best way to keep cooking safe is to know your child’s abilities and his or her stage of development. Feel free to ask your child’s educator about what they are learning in their room. They will have lots of great suggestions and resources to take home.
- Ask for input. Children feel more included in mealtime when they are asked to be a part of meal preparation. Collaborate with your children when selecting recipes for main dishes or sides. Let them help you make the shopping list and find groceries in the store or farmer’s market. Letting children be “in charge” of details like how to set the table will help them feel invested in mealtime.
Chef Aesha has provided us with child-friendly knives and chopping boards for our little adventurous eaters. Here is a little sneak peek to how the babies enjoyed learning valuable skills and created plenty of happy memories.
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For enrolment enquiries or for more information, contact Kat at Ph: (02) 9808 5288 or Email: [email protected]
Let your child’s story begin with us!