Cooking with kids – from toddlers to teenagers – has a lot of benefits.
As well as being fun, cooking with your child:
gives you the chance to introduce him to fresh, healthy food
helps him learn about how different foods look and where they come from
helps him develop healthy eating habits because he’s more likely to try healthy food that he has helped to cook
helps him learn about family traditions, recipes and foods
prepares him for cooking for himself or the family in later years
helps build his maths skills – for example, when he measures liquid in a jug
helps build his vocabulary – for example, when you read a recipe together.
It’s also a great way to spend more time with your child and share the responsibility of cooking for your family.
You can talk with children about which foods are healthy and why, and where foods come from. You can also get children involved in shopping for healthy food, choosing healthy snacks and preparing simple foods.
This is a good age to introduce recipes that involve ‘building’. This could include layering toppings on a sandwich for lunch or spooning yoghurt, cereal and fruit into a glass to make a tasty and healthy dessert.
Cooking also helps preschoolers learn about washing vegetables and fruit, as well as some measuring and counting basics. They might learn some new words too, like ‘grate’, ‘mash’ and ‘delicious’!
And preschoolers are old enough to help with things like setting the table, serving food and cleaning up after meals.