1. Kids who cook are 50% likely to cook at least five meals a week as adults.
2. We are what we eat and that goes double for kids. Research shows that the quality of food that kids eat impacts their cognition. Poor nutrition is linked to school absenteeism, hunger symptoms, and psychosocial problems, as well. Food is also a reflection of our identity. When families opt for frozen or take-out meals, they miss out on the act of creating food..a very important part of self-expression.
3. Spending time in the kitchen with your children helps to make lasting memories. It also helps them to develop useful skills that will last a lifetime.
4. Cooking helps with childhood obesity. teaching kids how to cook and enjoy healthy meals helps them to maintain a healthy weight. From the late 1970s until about 2010, the childhood obesity rate has tripled. teaching children to prepare healthy meals and snacks can go along way to keeping your kiddos healthy and active.
If you're a parent or a grandparent, here are a few additional reasons why it's important to cook with your children.
1, Kids who cook become children who taste and sometimes eat things they normally wouldn't. "Involving children in the process of cooking — picking out the watermelons and tomatoes and plucking the herbs to add to a tomato and watermelon salad, for example — greatly increases the chance that they’ll actually try the finished dish. And hey, they may discover a new favorite. Or not. But cultivating a welcoming and open-minded approach to food can grow adults who approach life similarly. Arms open and mouth wide to new tastes, cultures, and attitudes.
2. Children who cook turn I can't into I can! "Sliding a spoonful of raw chicken or a piece of breaded fish into hot oil? Daunting. Making dinner for six people at age 9? Intimidating. A child who can do those can look at any restaurant dish and say, “I could make that.” That’s an attitude that can carry a child beyond the kitchen."
3. Cooking is a way to talk about health. Experts say that the single most important thing you can do for your health is to cook at home. Inviting children into the kitchen and involving them at a very young age fosters a habit that will have lifelong benefits. Also, it gives you an opportunity to discuss with a 3-year-old how fish can help make you smart (fatty acids), how “eating a rainbow” ensures that you get a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, and how eating plenty of fresh vegetables and drinking lots of water will “keep your poop from hurting when it comes out.”
4. Cooking is a way of talking about healthy ingredients. "Children who have made ice cream and caramel know what is supposed to be in ice cream. They know they didn’t add any guar gum. If they’ve made no-knead bread, they’ll know that good bread doesn’t need sugar. When you flip over packages in the grocery store, they’ll understand that what you’re looking for are things you can’t pronounce. And they’ll soon want to join you. (They may, in fact, police your shopping more than you’d like.)" And I'd add that cooking with kids gives you the opportunity to teach children where food comes from. It's a horrible but true fact that many children, when asked where food comes from will tell you in honesty, that it comes from the grocery store. As you shop for food, it's a great time to explain to children how the items are sourced. And having a veggie or herb plot can be very helpful as well. Nothing can bring on satisfaction quite like picking something you grew, cooking it, and eating the dish!
5. Cooking brings cooks of all ages together. "For better or worse, you will get to know your children, and they will get to know you more deeply when you cook with them. For better, you will share recipes, techniques, and anecdotes that you learned at the elbows of mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers long gone. For worse, you will huff and puff and whine and lose your patience when they accidentally spill heavy cream all over the kitchen table while baking but they will love you anyway, teaching you, the one who’s supposed to be the grown-up, about unconditional love and ready forgiveness.
Need a few kid-friendly recipes to cook with your children and grandchildren? try these!
Recipes: Easy Sheet-Pan Chicken | Roberta’s Pizza Dough | Stir-Fried Chicken With Ketchup | Broiled Fish With Chermoula | Rhubarb Ice Cream With Caramel Swirl | Outdoor Fish Fry | Strawberry Shortcake | No-Knead Bread | Tomato and Watermelon Salad.
That does it for me this week. I hope you've enjoyed all (or at least a few) of my blogs. I am committed to bringing you interesting, fun, and (hopefully) useful information that will contribute to making the world a little more pleasant for everyone. There's never any hate or disrespect here. Only loads of Irwin love! Please plan on joining me back here on Monday. Have a great weekend, everyone.