During Nutrition Month and the rest of the year, you have the potential to help children discover the joy of cooking and to help develop healthy habits when shopping. Teaching children to shop and cook are essential skills that will help them become healthier adults. A great way to teach children about food is to get them involved in the kitchen with you.
Cooking together allows you to share more than just time together. It allows you to pass on family traditions, sharing traditional recipes, talking about your experiences learning to cook them or where the recipes came from.
Here are some tips to get you cooking with kids!
- Let the kids pick the recipe. With some guidance of course, but allowing kids a say in the recipe will help to keep them interested and they are more likely to try it once they have been involved in the making of the recipe.
- Make learning fun. Allow children to do age appropriate skills (find out what they can do at what age here) and incorporate different learning opportunities. Here are some ideas:
- Health: What makes a healthy meal or snack?
- Language: How do you read a recipe?
- Math: How do you measure ingredients and work with fractions?
- Science: What will happen when you boil an egg or make bread?
- Social studies: What food is grown in Canada and around the world?
- Food skills: How do you stir, chop, knead, pour and scoop?
- Make a mess. Kids and cooking = a mess in the kitchen. There will be spills and flour clouds, it’s all part of learning. Know that it will happen and that part of cooking is learning how to clean up. Keep the towels handy and embrace the chaos.
Cooking is an easy way to spend extra time with your kids. On a busy weekday, it’s a great way to reconnect after a long day apart. On the weekend, it’s a relaxing way to have fun together.