Cooking is not only an important life skill, but also a wonderful opportunity for children to learn, explore, and create!
By involving children in the kitchen, you are fostering a love for cooking, encouraging healthy eating habits, and creating lovely memories together.
In this blog, we’ll discover some of the benefits of cooking with children, explore some simple and fun cooking activities suitable for different age groups and provide some valuable examples of how children can get involved in the kitchen!
Nurturing Healthy Eating Habits
When children are involved in preparing meals, they become more engaged and interested in what they eat. This type of involvement allows them to gain a better understanding and appreciation for healthy, nutritious foods and allows them to make healthier choices.
Enhances Motor Skills
Cooking activities require fine motor skills, such as pouring, stirring, and chopping. Using these skills helps children improve their hand-eye coordination.
Building Confidence and Independence
By allowing children to help with meal preparation, you are also helping to foster a sense of accomplishment and confidence in their abilities, all while encouraging their independence as they take control of the task at hand.
Cooking together with your children offers a unique opportunity for families to spend quality time together making memories. It also helps build a sense of teamwork and can improve communication skills.
Asking your children what foods they enjoy eating, and planning these into your weekly meal schedule is a great way of involving children in the kitchen. Encouraging them to choose their favourite dishes or ingredients also teaches them about balanced meals.
Although shopping with children can sometimes seem daunting, taking them with you to do your food shopping and involving them in selecting ingredients can open discussions about the importance of choosing fresh and healthy options.
Mixing and Stirring
Children of all ages can enjoy the simple task of mixing ingredients together or stirring the batter. This activity helps them develop hand-eye coordination and introduces them to basic culinary techniques.
Chopping and Slicing
Older children, under close adult supervision, can practice their knife skills by safely chopping soft fruits or vegetables with a child-friendly knife. This activity promotes fine motor skills and teaches the importance of being safe when using kitchen tools.
Measuring and Counting
Engage children in measuring ingredients using measuring cups, spoons, and scales. This really helps with getting them involved in the cooking process and when cooking with older children can reinforce their maths skills!
Cooking with little ones doesn’t necessarily have to focus on the result – it’s more about getting them involved in the cooking process itself. When cooking with toddlers, why not try the following:
Focus on sensory experiences like stirring dry ingredients, touching different textures, and smelling different herbs.
Pouring and transferring ingredients, such as dry ingredients or liquids between containers, can help them to develop their fine motor skills.
Cooking with children offers multiple benefits that extend beyond the kitchen. The advantages of involving children in the cooking process are endless, from fostering healthy eating habits to building confidence and enhancing motor skills.
At Busy Bees, we pride ourselves on the food we provide in our nurseries. Many of the activities and resources we have available to children also support those required in cooking.
Learn more about how we promote healthy eating habits and view our menus in full here. To discover more about our nurseries, find your closest centre today and book a visit!