Why kids who learn to cook are a force to be reckoned with

It’s never too late or too early for your kids to start helping out in the kitchen.

Food and eating are essential parts of our lives. Unless we teach, from a young age, the basics of cooking, where food comes from, healthy food options, and how to create meals from available ingredients, (e.g. to use up the left overs in the fridge), then we are doing a disservice to our children, their health, their future, our environment and future generations.

Let’s teach our kids to appreciate the art of cooking, to become more self-sufficient, healthier individuals. Want to know why kids who learn to cook are a force to be reckoned with? Here are 5 benefits of teaching cooking for kids.

5 Benefits of teaching our kids to cook

1. A more adventurous eater – willing to try new things: There are not many parents out there who can say, with pride, their child will eat whatever is served on their plates. Let’s face it, children can be fussy eaters. However, when a child learns to cook for themselves, they’re likely to be more adventurous with their eating, therefore expanding their palates. You may also notice an added benefit, as they form a greater appreciation of the food you provide.

2. Healthy habits: Cooking cultivates healthy habits. The 1826 saying “you are what you eat”, is especially powerful in today’s society. Where food is in abundance. Yet parents’ ability to teach cooking as a life-skill is often impaired by the limited time, energy, patience and interest to do so. Our ability to cook simple, healthy dinners has minimised. Food waste is plentiful, and fast-food is so convenient, although it’s unhealthy, it becomes an easy option for many families. Obesity in children is on the rise, with 25% of Australian children between the ages of 5-14, now considered overweight 17% or obese 8%. 

Jennie Thompson shares “As your children learn to cook, they are learning a powerful tool to take control of their own health. It’s been said, your food can be your medicine. If your children learn how to prepare food, they can give their body exactly what it needs nutritionally, both now and in the future.” What better gift can you give to your child?

3. Physical development: For tweens and teens, if they’re shopping for ingredients, or in the kitchen cooking, then their hands are directed away from an often-frequent resting place of remotes, phones and keyboards! Cooking is a brilliant way to bring balance and purpose for teenagers, while providing tangible and delicious results.

For the little chefs, cooking involves strengthening their fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, rolling, kneading dough, or grating cheese or veggies, cutting packets open and slicing, stirring, weighing and shaking. What a fun and yummy way for children to enhance their physical development.

4. Cognitive development: Cooking is a fun, practical way for children to learn so many life skills at once:

  •  From planning, to gaining knowledge about ingredients and implements. Shopping, budgeting, growing food, time management, multi-tasking & hygiene.
  • Reading and comprehending instructions, recipes, and ingredients.
  • Experimenting and being creative with different foods. Coming up with their own versions of a recipe, can encourage thinking outside the box.
  • Science concepts are also experienced in the kitchen. Observing liquids, solids and gasses transform. Understanding what happens if you use too much of one ingredient and how it changes the dish etc…
  • Understanding and applying maths concepts including: measures, weights, volumes, conversions and percentages in a practical way. Children can discover a practical application of maths in the real world. It provides a kinaesthetic way of learning. With a delicious reward for your efforts.
  • Children can have an incredible sensory experience in the kitchen. Touching, smelling, hearing instructions, and looking at the consistency and texture, and the best bit, tasting all the creations. What better way to utilise all 5 senses, than in the kitchen.

5. Boosts Confidence: Cooking boosts confidence and self-esteem and assists in establishing a sense of self.

  • Cooking in a group environment: Children can share a common interest and have a laugh and giggle, taste, learn valuable skills and socialise outside of the school environment.
  • Cooking at home with their parents: Children can spend quality time, perhaps cooking a traditional family, recipe, talking about family traditions, or stories about the person who created the recipe? Or maybe you all love nothing more than bopping away to some background beats together, while creating a delicious creation in the kitchen. Or perhaps it’s an opportunity to share about what’s gone on in their day? Whatever it looks like for your family, it will build happy life-long memories and skills. Cooking at home together also provides a brilliant opportunity for you to praise and encourage your child’s efforts in the kitchen.
  • Inner Confidence: Not only does it build social confidence, but also an inner confidence. Food connects us with our ancestry, when we cook a recipe handed down through our family, it re-connects us to our roots and helps build a stronger sense of self. We can share our cultures’ culinary flavours with others, and it becomes a conduit for sharing stories about current family members or those from generations long since parted. We mustn’t underestimate the power of food, to reinforce our sense of self.
  • When kids can say, “I made it myself,” they feel a sense of accomplishment. Watching someone else enjoy the meal, they have prepared, can increase a child’s sense of pride and achievement. This confidence will carry with them to other areas of their life as well. Being able to create delicious, healthy meals, is a powerful gift for any child to give to their family, friends, and themselves.

In light of these incredible benefits, and because we are passionate about providing educational culinary experiences. We are delighted to announce our upcoming kids’ program. View available classes 

Cooking classes the school holidays 

School holidays are an excellent time for kids to rest and relax, but it can be challenging, finding ways to fill up the time and keep kids happy and entertained. Developing basic cooking skills is a fun, valuable activity, which will not only benefit your children but the whole family too.

For those kids local to the Castle Hill District, NSW region, we’re offering COVID-19 safe, face to face cooking workshops. You can attend with your children, send them with a friend or solo, and collect them, licking their lips at the end. Bookings are open for our upcoming Sausage Rolls and Cookies workshop. Don’t miss out, get in quickly to book your spot, limited space in-house available.

We will also continue with online workshops, to provide an opportunity for all children to participate in cooking, regardless of location. If you’re looking for activities to do from home, these school holidays, join us for delicious muffin baking and more! All bookings and enquiries, connect via our website.

Budding Cooks Club

We are excited to offer our new and exclusive children’s cooking club, opening soon. The first of its kind in our region! With two age groups catered for: Ages: 8-12 and 13-17. Kids and teens will spend 2 hours a month participating in themed cooking classes. They will receive their own monogrammed apron, learn valuable culinary skills, with take home recipes in their own recipe folder, to build upon and of course to create their recipes for their family at home.

Currently accepting expressions of interest in both age groups.

This is an amazing opportunity for your children to use all their senses, exploring various food and cooking techniques. Better yet, you’ll reap the benefits at home, when the kids can cook for you!