Why Cook With Your Kids? » Benefits of Cooking With Kids

Benefits of Cooking With Kids

It is never too soon to teach your kids about healthy eating. Kids LOVE getting attention, so cooking together is a great way to spend time bonding! Cooking is a life-long skill that presents many teaching opportunities, like following directions, measuring, practicing cleanliness and having fun tasting healthful new foods that reduce risk of disease.

Follow the age appropriate tasks below and give your kids a practical skill that they will use for the rest of their lives. 

Benefits of Cooking with Your Kids:
• Bonding experience
• Builds child’s vocabulary
• Creates opportunity to discuss the senses (taste, sight, smell, touch)
• Boosts self-esteem by accomplishing tasks that contribute to the whole family
• Teaches children life skills and food safety practices
• Uses basic math skills
• Allows scientific observation when foods change form
• Promotes practicing how to follow directions
• Provides opportunity to discuss how healthy foods create a healthy body
• Encourages creativity
• Can improve cultural awareness

Your 2-3 year-olds can help:
• Select which ingredients they want to taste or use
• Sort ingredients
• Rinse vegetables or fruits
• Tear large pieces of lettuce
• Stir
• Pour with assistance
• Add ingredients into mixing bowl
• Group utensils when setting the table

Your 4-6 year olds can help:
• Start to read recipes
• Count and do simple measurements
• Cut with a plastic or butter knife
• Cut herbs with kitchen shears
• Crack eggs
• Mix
• Pour
• Set the table
• Create recipe cards for recipe rolodex
• Push the start and stop button on food processor or blender

Your 7-12 year olds can help:
• Select which recipes the family will share at mealtimes
• Create their own recipes
• Find and gather ingredients
• Read and follow recipes
• Help create your shopping list
• Cut with a small sharper knife (supervised)
• Use zester, graters and peelers (supervised)
• Work with a heated source (with instructions and supervision)
• Help wash dishes