Including children in cooking meals requires time and patience. However, child and family experts unanimously agree that the time and effort invested leads to short and long-term benefits.
- Children learn by touching, tasting, seeing, feeling, and listening.
During cooking, all of the senses are engaged. Cooking teaches children self-worth and responsibility. Children who cook at home gain confidence and a sense of accomplishment. Children feel proud when they are able to serve the food they cooked to their friends and family.
- A kitchen is like a learning lab to a child.
Science, counting, fractions, weighing, sequencing, measuring, language, fine motor skills, reading, problem solving, and social engagement are all being practiced while cooking in the kitchen.
- Including children in the kitchen teaches them to become informed consumers.
Children not only become educated about nutrition, but they also make smarter food choices and take greater care in planning their meals. Home-made meals usually contain more nutrients, fewer calories, chemicals and sweeteners than pre-packaged foods and restaurant meals. As children experience fresh ingredients and become aware of the cost of food, they will begin to scrutinize their food choices outside the home more carefully.
Click here to learn more about how to include children in the kitchen.
Learn about the GI Alliance here.