In our generation, everything is accessible and at hand. Most of the products we consume come in prepackaged forms and easy-to-make packages. Women and men alike can now buy food that doesn’t need to be toiled over in the kitchen for hours before consumption–all we need now is a microwave and hot water.
Cooking must be brought back into the family circle, especially for the younger members of it; the children. In a world of increasing ‘shortcuts’ and ‘cheats’, allowing children to enter a slow-paced activities can bring them several benefits which parents should not take for granted.
1. Appreciate meals
First and foremost, a child must learn the importance of cooking for them to truly appreciate each meal that appears on the dinner table everyday. Knowing the process of food-making, step-by-step, teaches the child that the meal should not be taken for granted and helps them truly grasp the concept of food was made with love.
2. Improve motor skills
Exposing a child to cooking can help cultivate fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Not only will physical aspects of the child develop through cooking, but it will also enhance his or her mental abilities. By teaching children about measurements in cooking, they are already using simple arithmetic in real life, making the abstract concepts easier to grasp. Not only that, but having them read recipes and follow them improves one’s reading and comprehension skills and exposes kids to new words.
3. Give them a sense of responsibility
Probably one of the most important mental benefit a child may attain from learning the art of cooking is the sense of responsibility. Children are naturally curious and adventurous in a sense that they want to be a part of everything. Allowing a child to make his or her own dish for dinnertime, or simply to handle the mixing of ingredients or peeling of potatoes, can boost a child’s confidence and self-esteem whilst giving them a sense of responsibility and belonging.
4. Make them more creative
Something a child must always be allowed to do is to express his or her creativity and imagination. Giving children an outlet for their immeasurable mental capacities will help a child develop his or her own identity. Allowing a child to understand how flavors can mix and create different tastes exposes him or her to new possibilities, challenging their ability to create something new.
5. Bond over cooking time
Parent-child bonding is also a benefit one can gain from teaching a child how to cook. Being a figure to be looked up upon, the parent can teach the skills they already know whilst also trying out new things in a fun and creative atmosphere. Finding a time where both the parent and the child can cooperate to create something the whole family can enjoy might even be more enjoyable for the parent, who no longer needs to pretend to drink tea and eat cake in a doll tea party but can partake in a real one.
Instilling the importance of cooking in a young child will help parents grow happy, healthy and confident children who will always finish food when they go out and will always be up for new dishes wherever they go. No longer depending on 3-minute pasta or processed puddings and meat, children can become detached from the 21st century world’s constant shuffling, hustling, and bustling kitchens.