Most parents love to be alone in the kitchen. It’s no surprise as working solo entails preparing the ingredients, cooking the meal quicker, and making the whole process less messy – not knowing that bonding with kids while cooking can actually be a great family activity. All the extra time, effort, and cleanup are worth it as a family cooking together enjoys a lot of benefits on many aspects of life, making it a stronger unit. If you’re wondering what these perks are, continue reading below to discover why cooking together is best for your family – you’ll be sure to start squeezing it into your family schedule afterward.
1. Cooking together is an engaging bonding activity for your family.
Cooking together serves as an excellent opportunity for your family to bond and team up together, especially that everyone is usually busy at school, work, significant tasks, and other responsibilities most of the day and the week.
Setting a time to cook a specific meal together at least once a week provides all members the chance to connect, talk and spend quality time with each other. It’s more fun to toss colorful veggies or bake cookies when you have your family around.
2. Cooking together helps build better positive associations with food.
If you have kids who are picky eaters or are intimidated to taste unfamiliar food, cooking together will let them explore various types of food. Thus, helping them build positive associations with them. As your children wash vegetables, knead the dough, or put spices or condiments, they will get exposed to these foods’ appearance, texture, and smell, stimulating their senses and making them more accepting of them. Since they also took part in the preparation, they are also most likely to taste the food they wouldn’t in normal situations – especially vegetables!
3. Cooking teaches kids.
Though it may not seem obvious, you can use the time in the kitchen to help impart valuable lessons to your kids. You can help them learn simple math concepts like fractions, measurement, and counting when handling the ingredients. As you go through the cooking process, teach them about scientific ideas, such as temperature, food changes, or how fruits or vegetables grow. If you want to enrich their vocabulary, you can let them read the words on the packaging or the labels of food containers while explaining more about them. You can also help them practice following instructions by carefully adhering to the recipes. There’s a lot to learn in the kitchen, making the activity not only fun but rewarding for your children.
4. Cooking helps everyone value safety.
Apart from learning essential concepts, it will also teach not only your kids to value safety. As you cook together, it’s important to be a good role model and demonstrate to them how to handle kitchen tools and equipment safely. It includes simply asking permission, washing their hands, or turning on and off kitchen appliances safely. To ensure the utmost safety, only assign them age-appropriate tasks and supervise them at all times. Soon, they will know how to tackle more complicated tasks as they grow up but without much worry knowing that they have a good foundation for safety.
5. Cooking together encourages everyone to get involved and share ideas.
As you cook together, be sure to ask your kids for inputs. Ask them what course they would like to prepare or what extra ingredients they want to add. Do they have any side dishes in mind? Are they craving any desert? When going to the supermarket, allow them to look for the items on the shopping list and bring them to your cart. Once in the kitchen, make taste tests and let them have their own judgment. Is the dish too salty or sweet? How would they like it better? Are there any ingredients that can improve its flavor? By doing all these, they get involved and share their ideas, which in turn, can also make them feel more valued.
6. Cooking can make your kids happy and proud.
Children are natural helpers. You can see them taking part in simple chores in the house, such as filling the pet’s dish, making their beds, or emptying wastebaskets. If you have a garden, they will be happy to pull weeds, water the plants, or rake cuttings. They’d feel the same way in the kitchen, too! Your kids can find joy in simple tasks and feel proud that they are able to offer help in preparing food. Maximize the experience by letting them set up the dining table or serve food – you’ll also feel pleasure seeing big smiles on their faces.
7. Cooking your meals together boosts your family’s health.
When you cook with the family, you skip pizza or other fast food and get the chance to prepare healthier foods. You can also teach kids about nutrition, and the role food takes in one’s health while also managing your food intake in the process. With that, the whole family gears towards more nutritious options and a healthier lifestyle.
8. Cooking together makes everyone appreciate food more.
Do your kids tend to play with their food? Is there anyone in your family leaving leftovers after dinner? Does your partner skip the delicious breakfast you’ve prepared? Often, these behaviors come up due to the lack of appreciation for food. When you cook together, everyone gets to see the love, time, and effort invested in each dish. That way, the whole family can become more appreciative and thankful for the food available on the plate.
Cooking in the kitchen is a great activity you must do with your family. You get to enjoy creating fun memories and delicious food and reap all the incredible benefits each time you do it. So, make it a habit together and say hello to a happier, brighter, and healthier family!