The Benefits of Cooking With Kids

Cookbooks for children are a wonderful way to initiate a healthy lifestyle. Involving your kids in cooking can open the door to related topics like nutrition, meal planning, and perhaps even gardening.

Having been blessed with two sons did not stop me from encouraging them to cook. In fact, cooking, cleaning, and outdoor chores were part of our regular routine. While I did have to deal with some grumbling along the way, my methods proved to be very beneficial for both sons, according to their own accounts.  Now adults, my sons can and do cook, are concerned with nutritional values, and have become frugal shoppers as well. Both are fit and live active, healthy lifestyles.

Elaine Magee, MPH, Rd wrote a fantastic article,  Cooking With Your Children,  for WebMd that supports my personal beliefs and successes concerning kids and cooking.  Ms. Magee noted:

Indeed, cooking with kids can be the gift that keeps on giving; it has both short-term and long-term payoffs.

Some of the short-term benefits:

  • It encourages kids to try healthy foods.
  • Kids feel like they are accomplishing something and contributing to the family.
  • Kids are more likely to sit down to a family meal when they helped prepare it.
  • Parents get to spend quality time with their kids.
  • Kids aren’t spending time in front of the TV or computer while they’re cooking.
  • Kids generally aren’t eating junk food when they’re cooking a meal at home.

Some long-term benefits:

  • Learning to cook is a skill your children can use for the rest of their lives.
  • Kids who learn to eat well may be more likely to eat healthfully as adults.
  • Positive cooking experiences can help build self-confidence.
  • Kids who cook with their parents may even be less likely to abuse drugs.

The article “Cooking with Your Children” looks in depth at the subject. Not only does it explore the benefits of kids cooking but also offers ideas for parents to get started cooking with kids as well as age appropriate kid friendly recipes.

 

There is no doubt, cooking with kids opens the door to happier, healthier families.

 

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