So often, children will model most aspects of their parent’s actions. Whether it be the smallest quirks or the worst habits, children do learn from by watching what their parents do and that has consequences both good and bad. This is why it is essential for parents to start their children off on the right food concerning their diet and eating habits.
Several decades ago, it wasn’t unusual for all families to eat every meal together, every day, all at the same table. In today’s times, that scenario is more likely the exception than the norm. Parents are busy with child-rearing, work, and household responsibilities. There is often a lot of eating on the run and not as much concern for eating healthy, balanced meals. But in order for your kids to learn how to eat healthy and always be conscious of what is going into their bodies as they grown into adults, it is important for parents to learn that lesson for themselves.
Imitation is Flattering
Because kids are prone to mimic what their parents do, cooking can be a great lesson for the entire family. First, it teaches everyone to slow down and enjoy the quality time with each other that is often taken for granted. Second, cooking with children teaches the younger generation the importance of responsibility by preparing meals for the family. They get to understand the importance of hard work and the value of their parent’s time that is put into the family. While younger kids may not immediately understand that message, it is one that should stick with them as they get older. The third most important thing cooking with kids can do is teach them how to express a side of themselves through the recipes they prepare or invent on their own. Plus, there are tons of lessons in math and science kids will not learn hands-on in the classroom.
The Hands-On Approach
Through cooking, kids get a better understanding of what their dinner is made from and how different combinations can be put together to make a meal. This is a prime opportunity for parents to educate their young about the importance of adding healthy and fresh foods into each meal. Kids can learn more by doing than by just simply listening. By having them actually adding the carrots to the casserole or learning how to measure a cup of peas, they may be more likely not only to eat what they have created but also to keep wanting to help in the kitchen.
Encourage Their Talents
While not every child will revel in their kitchen learning experiences, those who do can be encouraged to stick with it. There are professional course available that are geared towards teaching budding chefs about the basics of cooking for those children who develop a strong interest in the craft. It can be a wonderful outlet for children to use for creativity and build self-esteem. In addition to better physical health for the whole family, mental health is also affected positively.
It may seem at first glance that kids and cooking do not mix. Like with everything involving kids, parental supervision is required. There should always be a parent assisting with the cooking process to prevent injuries and burns but kids should also be allowed to practice mixing and pouring and the other safer areas of cooking without parental interference so they have an opportunity to learn.
The next time dinner needs to be prepared, call the whole family into the kitchen and get to work. You may be surprised at what your family can do together and you will be pleased with the new bonding time you will be instituting into your family tradition.
Georgina White has developed ways to make great tasting food using healthier methods. She feels that it’s important to be kind to your body and provide it with plenty of nourishing, fresh food while letting the taste buds enjoy it too!