To children, the world of cooking is magical. Throughout this school year, the Alpha 3-4 year old students of The Experiential School of Tampa Bay have been preparing each others' favorite recipes while the Junior Kindergartners have prepared a variety of recipes, several of which included produce they grew themselves in the class garden.
New recipes often include ingredients that are unfamiliar. What we have found, however, is that when the students were involved in preparing their food, they were much more willing to try it; and often they discovered that they liked it.
To experience that same culinary curiosity at home, invite your children into the kitchen with you. Cooking with children may take a little more time, but the closeness and learning that come with it make it well worth the effort! Being asked to help cook makes children feel important and capable.
An added benefit is that many skills and concepts can be learned and/or reinforced through cooking; these include literacy (reading the recipe & expanded vocabulary), math (measuring, numbers, weight & time), and science (temperature, changes in matter).
Helping prepare the family’s meals also teaches working collaboratively and gives them the satisfaction of being productive, contributing participants. And don’t forget, the additional bonus for parents of picky eaters, is that your child may try more things if he/she helps prepare it. Happy cooking!