April 1, 2012

Benefits of Cooking Together

One of the things I encourage parents to do is to have a special one-on-one time with their child each week. Parents like the idea but admit it’s a challenge to find time to fit one more thing into their weekly schedule. 

That’s when I suggest cooking together. Everyone has to eat, every house has a kitchen and for parents who are concerned about their child eating a variety of foods it’s a good way to teach healthy eating habits.

For young children start with recipes that have fewer than five ingredients. A tossed salad or muffins would be good recipes to start with. Go over basic safety rules of the kitchen before you begin cooking.

Does your child struggle with impulsivity and following directions? Gathering the ingredients, following the step by step directions of the recipe and waiting for the end result teaches all of those valuable skills. Measuring and combining ingredients teaches math skills. Reading skills are enhanced when you ask your child to read aloud the recipe directions.

Keep track of the foods you make together and soon you’ll have a series of menus which will make weekly meal planning easier. If you have a phone with a camera feature snap a picture of the recipes and when you go to the grocery store your shopping list will be with you. 

Both parents and children gain something out of cooking together. First, there's the quality time you'll share preparing the food. Then there's the pleasure of sitting down at the table together to enjoy what you've created.

No comments: