Someone recently told me that if you home-school and your teenage kids can’t cook then you are pretty much a failure. My children may have a good few years to go before they enter their teenage years, but I’m eager to get them cooking as soon as possible – if not for the above reason, then certainly for the reasons below:
1 | Cooking is a useful skill
A life skill if you prefer. If your child learns to cook it certainly gives them a sense of achievement and independence and gives their confidence a boost. The beginnings may be hard (for you rather than for them) as they might be eager to cook and less so to clean, but if you persist and encourage them they will get there one day. The day they accomplish their first cooking mission, the proud smile on their face will be your reward. I guess learning to cook is much like learning to eat – it’s awfully messy to begin with, but you have to let them do it and learn through practice, for their good and your own.
2 | You are what you eat and you eat what you cook
Children who know how to cook or at least fix themselves a sandwich are less likely to stuff themselves with unhealthy processed packaged snacks. Also, if you let your children prepare the healthy stuff by themselves they are more likely to eat it. Sometimes it’s just the case of finding the right recipe collection that would encourage them to try new things. So yeah, let them train their dragon fruit. Or broccoli. Or asparagus.
3 | Kitchen is a brain-gym
Cooking involves lots of activities that will help your children develop their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills: stirring, mixing, kneading, pouring…and that’s just the warm up!
4 | Recipes are for reading
All my children love cookbooks – even my 2-year-old daughter loves leafing through them and occasionally pointing to things that she knows well, like fruit. When kids see you reading while cooking they want to copy that. Reading and understanding recipes…