“No one is born a great cook, one learns by doing.” – Julia Child
Ever thought of giving kids a culinary experience? You’d be surprised to know how cooking can entertain children and improve their sensory abilities. You’d be thrilled to see some of them even dreaming about becoming a chef one day. Read on to know why cooking can be an excellent activity for children of all ages.
Cooking improves motor skills
From kneading dough to chopping veggies and stirring the curry, cooking improves hand-eye coordination. Since there are different stages of preparing any food item, the child also learns to multi-task. Children learn about texture and fineness of ingredients by simply mixing items such as pulses with water and this improves their fine motor skills.
Children uncover new tastes and food
Children love to try new things and when they enter the kitchen, they will try out fruits, pickles and also toys with spices. With proper guidance and safety measures, the child will taste new flavours and make it a point to have their newfound favourite flavours in food. Through this fun-filled activity, parents also get to know which new food items are liked by their children.
Cooking boosts confidence
Children who help parents cook their favourite dish feel successful and often become confident enough to cook their signature dish for the family members and guests.
Fussy eating ends as children observe the process of cooking
Children’s pickiness about certain food items is a serious concern for parents. However, encouraging children to cook their own ‘tasty’ dish with the same ingredients instills a sense of ownership for the item. Thus, children don’t desert food they have cooked and in this way, don’t miss out on nutrition.
Introduction to new words
Cooking has multiple benefits. Repeating names of vegetables or cereals in the kitchen as they cook, a parent can help a child identify food items in this way. Reading out the ingredients of readymade food items also piques the curiosity of children and increases their knowledge.
Children learn to help family
Responsibility is a virtue that works wonders if introduced at an early age. As children watch their parents cook food for the family and want to emulate them, the exposure to cooking gives them the scope to do something for them in return and prove themselves in a wonderful way.
Cooking teaches discipline and patience
Cooking involves a process that needs to be followed cautiously for a tasty palette. Since one can’t rush with cooking, the practice urges children to be patient while working. Curious children will also pick up how their parents serve food and in this way, improve on a lot of related etiquettes such as eating habits, table etiquette, etc.
Cooking teaches teamwork
Watching parents prepare meals regularly, children who love cooking often volunteer to help their parents. As the difficulty level of cooking increases, the children can’t proceed without the help of their parents and thus learn teamwork. Such virtues bring out the best in the children in bigger social environments.