Too many cooks in the kitchen can seem problematic. There are advantages to cooking with people, particularly when those people that help you cook are your own children. Getting your kids involved in the kitchen helps them in so many ways. It allows you to spend time together and also to teach them some important skills that will be useful in their lives such as cooking, cleaning, measuring, and most of all enjoyment.
It is fun to spend time with your kids in the kitchen. The first step is to choose a recipe that is easy if the children are younger, or that tastes good. Being able to sample food at different steps in the cooking process makes cooking especially tasty. When a child is involved in cooking, a couple of things happen. A child gains an appreciation for the food you are cooking and more than likely will be more willing to eat it because they helped cook it. Also, it teaches them a life skill that will be practical when they move away from home.
Another practical skill that is taught when a child helps in the kitchen is the ability to clean up. They learn that cooking is only part of what happens in the kitchen. Cleaning up as you cook decreases the amount of washing after the meal is done. Kids can see just how much time and effort go into preparing for a meal and thus will gain a greater appreciation of eating at home. When they eat out, it will also help them appreciate the waiter and all the behind the scenes people and help them understand why people leave tips or gratuity.
Cooking also helps teach some important math skills. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions and other math savvy knowledge is learned in a practical and hands on manner that will make the skill a subtle one. The kids may not realize that they are multiplying when you ask how many cups you need if you are doubling a recipe. This is especially helpful when learning how to add fractions. Everything is visually displayed as well as physically handled, so the lessons tend to work for those that are kinesthetic or visual learners, but these are not the only learning types that benefit from time spent in the kitchen.
Overall, cooking with kids is fun and enjoyable. It allows you time to talk and keep up with what is happening in their lives, but it also teaches them some important skills that will benefit long after they leave home.
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