What thoughts come to mind when you think of kids in the kitchen? Inconvenient. Unsafe. Messy! Did I mention messy?
I’ll be the first to admit that it’s definitely easier to cook without children in tow, but is that a good enough reason to keep the kitchen off-limits? I don’t think so.
I passionately believe kids belong in the kitchen, and for more reasons than just to learn the important lifelong skill of cooking. For us busy moms with overflowing calendars, I know time is limited. Yet, let me encourage you that time in the kitchen with your kids is time well spent!
Here are just a few of the many reasons why kids belong in the kitchen:
• The Kitchen as a Classroom
Think of your kitchen as a fun-filled classroom. Kids can learn so many important skills in the kitchen, such as reading and vocabulary by reading the instructions in a recipe and learning the names of all the various tools and ingredients involved. Cooking also helps to build math skills through measuring and learning fractions. And of course there’s always a science lesson to be found in the kitchen, such as how eggs help to bind recipe ingredients together, and how baking soda helps baked goods to rise.
• Helps to Builds Important Life Skills
It’s important for both boys and girls to learn how a meal is created from start to finish, so they can do it themselves as they get older and eventually leave home. It will be an invaluable skill you are teaching them – one that they will use the rest of their lives. Yet, there’s even more important life skills a child learns by spending time in the kitchen with you. Cooking together affords a wonderful opportunity to teach your kids other important life skills, such as time-management, organizational skills, responsibility and confidence. As you can see, the lessons to be learned in the kitchen are endless and are of great value!
• Fosters Teamwork, Strong Bonds & Memories to Last a Lifetime
Preparing a meal with your children is one of the best ways to foster focused, intentional quality time together. Planning and preparing meals with your kids gives you a wonderful opportunity to talk, laugh and accomplish something together as a team – it’s good quality bonding time and it’s a wonderful opportunity to build memories that last a lifetime!
• Provides an Opportunity to Nourish a Healthy Lifestyle
In the kitchen, in the garden and even at the market, we have the opportunity to make food come alive for our kids and encourage within them a love for real food, as well as help them to develop an understanding of how real food truly nourishes the body. By spending time in the kitchen with our kids, we’re passing the baton of healthy eating on to them with the hope that one day they’ll pass it on to their own children as well.
Ready to Get Started?
My hope in sharing this is to encourage you to take advantage of the many opportunities that come from spending time in the kitchen with your kiddos. And, to help you get started, I’m excited to provide a free copy of my FREE “Cooking with Kids of All Ages” printable. This helpful chart outlines age-appropriate cooking activities, as well as provides a few creative ideas for making mealtimes fun.
I also encourage you to take a moment to check out How to Cultivate Little Sous Chefs before you get started for some practical, helpful tips and strategies to make it a smoother process for you both.
And if you’re looking for some easy and delicious kid-friendly recipes, I invite you to pop over and explore the “Kids in the Kitchen” section of this site. There you’ll find many of my boys favorite recipes, as well as more helpful tips and strategies for cooking with your kids!
Remember, your time in the kitchen with your precious little ones is so much more than just teaching them valuable cooking and healthy eating skills, it’s about sharing and enjoying time together – building strong bonds and happy memories!
So I encourage you to welcome your kiddos into the kitchen with open arms and an open heart! Be assured that your patience and joy in having them in the kitchen with you will most certainly be blessed!