Cooking with Your Kids

Cooking with Your Kids

Labor of Love

Cooking with Your Kids

Looking for a fun, productive and healthy activity for the whole family to enjoy? Look no further than your kitchen, where cooking with your children benefits everyone. Experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, agree that cooking together can create healthy eating habits for kids and build their confidence.

Get started with your budding chefs with a few tips.

Yield: 2 portions

From Start to Finish:

Get your kids involved in the entire process of cooking—from selecting a recipe and buying ingredients at the beginning of the week, to clean up when the meal is done. They’ll feel a sense of ownership and accomplishment in seeing their “project” completed all the way through.

Safety First:

Be sure your children have age-appropriate tasks, and keep hazardous items out of the reach of little hands. Younger kids can help with simple tasks like measuring and mixing ingredients together, while teenagers can take on chopping, slicing, or working near the stove or oven. Emphasize the importance of handwashing and proper cooking techniques so kids learn how to cook safely.

Healthy Little Chefs:

Talk through ingredients and recipes with children, letting them learn about different tastes and textures. This is a great way to expand their palates and encourage healthy eating habits. Your kids will see which fresh ingredients go into their favorite recipes, instead of the preservatives and additives found in processed food. Cooking a meal together sets a strong example of how to make positive food choices.

Beyond the Kitchen:

Eating a delicious meal they helped make gives children confidence. Even a recipe that doesn’t turn out quite as expected is a life lesson in seeing something through and making adjustments for the next time. Cooking and baking involve reading, following directions, focus, measurement and teamwork—all skills kids need long after the last bite has been eaten. Not to mention, it’s a fun experience for the whole family!