Did you know September 13th is “Kids Take Over The Kitchen Day”? The idea is to empower kids and teens to be more involved in meal planning, preparation and cooking.
The experience of working together and creating meals can help build their self-esteem, confidence and help lay the foundation for healthy eating. Children that help in the kitchen may also be more inclined to try new foods, as they were the ones that helped prepare it.
Here are some other great reasons you should cook with your children:
- Encourages an adventurous palate: Children can be picky eaters, bringing them into the kitchen to help cook can get them to open up to new tastes. When a child plays chef they might sample dishes they wouldn’t try if they were just served to them. So encourage kids to taste new ingredients you’re working with and talk about what they like and how healthy foods make a body grow.
- Help young kids explore with their senses: Children learn by exploring with their senses and the kitchen is an ideal place to do that. Ask them to listen to the whirl of the mixer, pound dough, watch it rise, smell it baking in the oven, and finally taste the warm bread fresh from the oven. If it smells good, looks appealing, and is easy to eat they may just be willing to try it!
- Boost confidence: Children love to show what they can do and working in the kitchen provides opportunities to gain a sense of accomplishment. If they helped assemble the pizza, let them know that their help was important. Even if the end results are not exactly what you expected, praise their efforts.
- Build basic math and language skills: You can help children learn basic math skills by doing something as simple as counting eggs or pouring water into a measuring cup. You can ask what comes first, second, and third or count together as you spoon dough onto a cookie sheet. When you read a recipe together, you’re introducing new words to your child’s vocabulary and promoting literacy. Following steps in the recipe can also help with listening skills.
If you are nervous about getting your kids in the kitchen check out this list of kitchen tasks for ages 2-12 years old: “Kitchen Tasks for Different Age Groups”
So get your aprons on and break out your mixing bowls and recipe books, get in the kitchen and get cooking with your kids. Share photos on social media of your day in the kitchen using #KidsTakeOverTheKitchenDay.