Cooking with Children

Cooking with childrenWhy? Why should you cook with your child?

Because learning comes through teaching moments. For you to have a teaching moment, you need to have a moment with your child! My kitchen is the nerve center of my home. All good (and sometimes bad) news happens in the kitchen. While cooking with my daughter, I learned about her first kiss. My son stirred Mongolian beef while telling me how mad he was at his best friend. There are other reasons to cook with your child:

  • Creates teachable moments. Time is created in the kitchen to share experiences. Talk about stories and
    cooking with children
    Best book to use to cook with children.

    what is happening in life. It also is a great time to teach some basic skills to your child.

  • Opens lines of communication. My children have watched me try some of the most strange recipes. At one point, we decided to try every recipe in a cookie book. It was amazing to learn together — and laugh together at some of our most hideous failures.  They also learned that there would be time in the kitchen to talk about anything.
  • Builds confidence in your child and pride. Children learn to do things on their own. They also take great pride in creating an end project.
  • Develop relationships and social skills. I didn’t realize how closely our children were watching us until one day our youngest comment on how Kerry and I cook together in time. As he needed an herb, I had placed it on the counter beside him without recognizing it. When he walked by me, he ran his hand over the small of my back. When the meal was completed, the entire family worked together to clean the kitchen.
  • Learn eye hand coordination. Let your child do age-appropriate activities in the kitchen. Stirring. Chopping. Measuring.
  • Learn basic survival skills. I didn’t recognize the importance of the cooking my oldest learned while working with me in the kitchen until she went to college. She was shocked at how many of her classmates couldn’t do the basics -like Top Ramen in a microwave!
  • Reinforces math skills. “I wonder how many cups of flour I would need if I were to double this recipe?” Simple questions such as these bring an awareness and importance of math in everyday life. For awhile, I would switch out the measuring cups in the flour and sugar containers from 1 cup to 1/3 or 2/3 cups. I would then ask how many 2/3 cups would I need to make 2 cups of flour. When they started fractions in school, the concepts came easier because they were already familiar with it.
  • Increases reading skills. There is an entirely different vocabulary in the kitchen. Saute. Marinate. Chop. Mix. Encourage your child to learn these new words and try them out!

What teaching moments have you found in your kitchen?

Tracy Harrington-Atkinson

Tracy Harrington-Atkinson, mother of six, lives in the mid-west with her husband. She loved storytelling and sharing her stories with her children. As they grew, she started writing her stories down for them. She is a teacher, having taught from elementary school to higher education, holding degrees in elementary education, masters in higher education and continued on to a PhD in curriculum design. Her husband, Kerry and Tracy breed miniature dachshunds and love to spend time with their growing family. She has published several books including Calais: The Annals of the Hidden, Rachel's 8 and Securing Your Tent.

9 thoughts on “Cooking with Children

  • October 16, 2015 at 10:02 am
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    Definitely a great post! I love cooking with my kids, it makes them a big part of preparing meals for the family and they love it. Stopping by from ‘Grow Your Blog’. I would like to invite you to my DIY Crush Craft Party which starts at 7pm EST. and is new every Thursday. I’ll pin every post!! ?

    http://www.diy-crush.com/blog/category/link-party/

    • October 16, 2015 at 10:22 am
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      Thank you, Denise. I’d be happy to join you!

  • October 16, 2015 at 10:29 am
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    Great find motor skills too learning to scoop and pour. My 2.5-year-old LOVES baking with me. We have matching aprons!

    • October 16, 2015 at 11:26 am
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      So true! Thank you for adding the motor skills!

  • October 16, 2015 at 11:25 am
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    I came to this one late, as I always hated the mess kids make. But now I treasure cooking with my kids- and I know I am teaching them important skills (and recipes) for later in life! Great article!

    • October 16, 2015 at 11:25 am
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      Thank you! I’ve moved to another generation and do this with my nephews and nieces, too.

  • October 16, 2015 at 12:03 pm
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    I love cooking with my son! And now that he can start making some things on his own it is super helpful too! 🙂

  • October 16, 2015 at 3:43 pm
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    I love cooking with my kids. I will have to check out that cook book. W often use American girl cook books now.

  • October 16, 2015 at 6:37 pm
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    What a great post! I love the idea of baking every recipe in a cookie book! That’s right up my alley!

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