Reasons Why I Cook with my Kids

May 1, 2012

cook with your kids
I had been promising my big boy that we could make ginger bread cookies with his new dragon and bunny cookie cutters ever since we got them. But I’ve been putting it off. I already spend enough time in the kitchen, I didn’t need to spend more time in there and have more mess to clean up. Besides, I had other, more important things to do…

Hang on… did I just say I had more important things to do than spend time with my boy?
The boy that next year will be at school?
The boy that loves nothing more than to cook?
The boy who’s sparkly blue eyes often make my day?

cooking with kids

I needed to get over myself and my excuses… So yesterday morning we made ginger bread dragons and bunnies and people, because there are so many good reasons to cook with kids…

  • Cooking is fun… cooking just for the pure enjoyment is so much more fun than cooking because you have to!
  • Cooking teaches pre-reading skills as we ‘read’ the recipe.
  • When he cooks he is constantly using number skills and counting.
  • Cooking teaches sequencing skills – first cream the butter and sugar, then add the golden syrup….
  • Cooking is an important life skill.
  • Cooking is a chance to talk about food, why our bodies need it and how they use it.
  • While cooking my boy is learning about measurements – weight, volume, temperature etc.
  • Sharing something he’s cooked with friends and family is a great source or pride for my boy!
  • If they help cook it, they are more likely to eat it… though that isn’t much of a problem when it comes to ginger bread men!
  • It’s a good chance to chat.
  • Cooking (especially from scratch) teaches my boy where food comes from, what is in it, and how it is made.
  • Cooking is a great way to practice motor skills… use those arm muscles to stir the batter, and strengthen those fingers squeezing icing from the piping bag.
  • When you cook together you are practicing skills such as turn taking, sharing and working cooperatively.
  • Cooking involves lots of science – following a method, changing stats of matter, cause and effect etc.
  • Working in the kitchen you teach your children safety skills – that the oven is hot, knives are sharp etc.
  • Doing something that makes my child happy, makes me happy.

cooking with kids

We used this recipe to make ginger bread cookies yesterday. For more recipe ideas pop on over to Childhood 101 and check out my post Ten Easy Things to Cook with Kids.

Do you cook with your kids?
What do you love, or hate, about it?

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Linda Woodrow May 1, 2012 at 12:47 pm

My kids are grown up now (25 and 28). And they are both great cooks, and both had the skills to live healthily on a student budget when they first left home. Learning to cook is such a valuable life skill.

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Annie May 1, 2012 at 1:02 pm

We have a very picky eater with some sensory issues but he really likes to help me cook. Even though he won’t usually eat what we make, he is at least smelling, feeling and sometimes tasting (a little, tiny lick) the ingredients. I’m hoping to pass on my love of cooking to him some day!

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Megan at Writing Out Loud May 1, 2012 at 4:06 pm

I love cooking with my little one – she learns so much in the kitchen.

Those cookies look delicious!

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Caitlin May 1, 2012 at 9:45 pm

We love cooking around here. Decorating biscuits – big favourite. The more sprinkles the better in my son’s opinion. You can’t eat his bikkies without having a dose of sprinkles in your lap afterwards! You’re so right – cooking – so many reasons to do it!

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Beet May 2, 2012 at 12:51 am

Your boy will remember the time you took to cook with him in years to come and it will mean the world. :)

Love the bunnies and dragons!

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Heather @ Life, Gluten Free May 2, 2012 at 9:39 am

My daughter loves to help cook. It’s so important for kids! I hear so many adults say how they ‘hate to cook’ and just microwave or eat out. It’s sad. I often wonder why, maybe their parents did not take time to cook with them? Who knows. But learning to cook is an invaluable skill, better to start early teaching kids how much fun it can be in the kitchen!

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mumspeak May 2, 2012 at 10:34 am

We have always loved cooking and eating in our family. It often takes me a few minutes into the process to get over myself (and the mess) then I remember why we’re doing it and live in the moment!! PS. A bit bummed that I couldn’t do you DP thingy last night. Always have loved your design!

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Marita May 2, 2012 at 3:42 pm

They look delicious. I’m planning cooking adventures with my girls this afternoon :)

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Alana May 3, 2012 at 1:57 pm

love this! My kids love cooking and although often I find it an annoying process I really do love cooking with them and watching them discover everything for themselves! and of course they are so proud when they have made their food!! Thanks for reminding us how important it is!

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Jenny B May 3, 2012 at 4:15 pm

What a surprise he chose green icing. I am glad for you both you are not seeking balance and have your priorites right

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Evsie May 12, 2012 at 12:43 am

Hi I’m new at your blog…but I had to comment on this post!
I have a 2 year old boy…who is obsessed with cooking. And when I say obsessed I really mean it – he opens his eyes in the morning and shouts ‘COOK!’.
He goes to the nursery so mainly he wants to cook dinner with me…I’m running out of ideas. It is also quite stressful with him being…well…two! He doesn’t want to wait for things or add the in order. I try my best to balance fun, getting him involved, keeping him safe and actually getting something edible out for dinner. I’m really stressed. We has a few meltdowns already because he was not allowed to just do whatever he wants in the kitchen :(
Is there anything you can recommend? Any tricks? Recipes?

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Amanda Kendle October 7, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Love this Kate. My Mr 2 is getting really into cooking lately – we just spent half an hour cutting up the broccoli and cauliflower for tonight’s dinner – he loves cutting stuff up! Getting him to eat is not a problem, the only problem is he tends to sample too much of whatever we’re cooking so by the time it’s a meal he’s half full. Still, I can hardly complain about a 2 year old who snacks on raw broccoli and cauli?!

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Maree@threefootcooks October 9, 2012 at 10:13 pm

This is a great list. Hope you don’t mind if I link to it from my blog.

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Aleta @ Hinterland Mama November 23, 2012 at 10:50 pm

There’s lots happening to distract us at this time of year. Thanks for the reminder to slow down ?

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Pamela November 27, 2012 at 11:22 pm

My daughter (2 years) also loves cooking! I have started involving her more and more and she can’t get enough.

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