Cooking isn’t just about learning how to make ingredients taste great – it can help with a lot of other life skills too! It encourages adventurous eating, and it teaches children where our food comes from. It also teaches them exactly what superpowers they can get from eating certain foods. Sitting down with your children and learning about food groups and experimenting with certain foods is a fantastic way to tantalize your children’s taste buds and learn about new foods and countries they came from.
- Magnificent Maths
Did you know that cooking is linked to maths, and can help children get better at understanding numbers? I’m not talking about boring old sums, I mean the basic maths you need to enjoy cooking properly. Knowing how to halve a recipe to make a smaller amount, for example, is definitely a useful skill. Or maybe your kids like the recipes so much their want to double them and make even more! Imagine how impressed your child’s teacher will be when he or she sees how good they are at dividing and multiplying numbers.
- Super Science
Cooking is one big, fun science experiment with an edible outcome! Kids can learn what ingredients do and how they work – and it’s all hands on and a bit messy too (it’s perfect!).
- Radiant Reading
Sounding out the words in recipes, or reading out the ingredients and following a simple recipe can help with your child’s spelling and reading. Plus they will be able to recognise and match up words when they see them in the recipes and then go and look for the ingredients in the cupboard or fridge. What a great way to learn!
- Create Confidence
Cooking is an amazing way to boost your child’s confidence. When they know that they can whip up tasty, healthy dishes for the whole family their self-esteem will grow! It’s great to know that they have helped to put a whole meal together, and their family is enjoying eating it.
- Team Work
Giving everyone in the kitchen a special task to do when they’re cooking means that no one will feel left out, and everything will get done just right! Organising your little kitchen assistants takes a lot of skill, but it’s a handy one to master. They’ll also learn how to share and experience team work.
- Happy, Healthy Food
The most important thing about cooking is that it teaches your children how to have fun and how to have a great relationship with food. Having fun in the kitchen creates great memories. Good food and good feelings are a great combination.
Tips for Young Cookers
It’s not just older children who can learn through food – toddlers can too. Food lends a fun, sensory element to learning, so here are some ideas to get your toddler’s brain active in the kitchen.
- Hand over the masher and let the little ones mash potatoes, bananas, avocados and anything else that needs to be squished and squashed! We love mashing so much we’ve even added a ‘Get Smashing’ logo throughout the book to let you know when it needs doing!
- Using a vegetable peeler instead of a knife means that younger children can get involved when it comes to peeling fruit and veg.
- Little ones can help to mix ingredients together.
- And of course, when it’s hands on time such as kneading dough or mixing things with fingers, that’s your toddler’s time to shine!
- They can also roll out pastry and cut out shapes using cookie cutters.
- Toddlers can also help to spread toppings and sandwich fillings.
So grab your aprons and let’s get cooking! Making food together is a great way to learn about food, create healthy tasty meals can help our children become whizz kids in the kitchen. There are have plenty of tasty recipes for you all to try in my new book ‘mums sneaky recipes’ but before we get cooking check out my blog post for fun, safe cooking in the kitchen.