The Importance of Cooking with Children

By Sarah Lipoff
Kids benefit from time in the kitchen.
Kids benefit from time in the kitchen.

Children of all ages benefit from cooking activities, which teach measurement, encourage children to explore their senses and entice them to try new foods. Cooking is a beneficial skill, teaching about different types of ingredients and healthy eating. By educating children about cooking and introducing them to fun and tasty recipes, they will make better eating decisions and take pride in cooking their own food.

Cooking Encourages Learning

According to Dr.Spock.com, cooking is an opportunity for education. Recipes encourage reading, measurement and the importance of following directions. Modeling proper cooking skills while working with children provides them with a positive example and the ability to participate. Find ways to incorporate school subjects while cooking with children through tying in spelling words or basic math while following a recipe or planning a family meal.

Healthy Eating Habits

While experimenting in the kitchen, children learn about healthy eating and nutrition. According to Kids-Cooking-Activities.com, fast food and junk food are aiding in the rise of child obesity. Having children participate with cooking meals or snacks helps them make better eating choices and try new things. It also introduces children to the cooking process and how things change from one thing into another through cooking or baking. Picky eaters are also more apt to try the foods they’ve cooked.

Cooking Creates Bonding Time

Spending time in the kitchen with children is an opportunity for family time and bonding. While cooking, children benefit from one-on-one time with a parent or adult, along with having the opportunity to build memories. Kids-Cooking-Activities.com notes that cooking builds self-esteem by creating a sense of accomplishment in children after they've helped cook something successfully.

Hygiene and Food Safety

According to Dr.Spock.com, cooking teaches hygiene and food safety to children. Before cooking, it is essential to wash hands, cooking implements and fruits and vegetables. Children learn that food safety is important to ensure that others don’t get sick from foods cooked. Children also learn about the sustainability of food by discovering that if certain foods aren’t refrigerated, they will rot or go to waste.

Children Learn about Hazaards

Cooking in the kitchen educates children about cooking tools and potential hazards they pose. According to Dr.Spock.com, children that spend time cooking understand proper use of knives and other sharp tools. They also learn about working with hot items, such as the microwave oven or stove. These are important life skills, allowing children to become successful cooks as adults.

About the Author

Sarah Lipoff has been writing since 2008. She has been published through BabyZone, Parents, Funderstanding and Education.com. Lipoff has worked as a K-12 art teacher, museum educator and preschool teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Science in K-12 art education from St. Cloud State University.