Every time I look up strategies on how to get my kids to eat more foods I see the typical answers: “have them shop with you…let them help with the food preparations…cook with kids” and so on. Well I’m calling Bulls** on these ideas. I have tried all of them and nothing. I love having my girls grocery shop and cook with me, and they do too, but it has done little in the way of expanding their diets. But, none the less, I continue to have my girls involved in the kitchen.
These days I feel like cooking is such a lost art. I can’t tell you how many people my age can’t cook something unless it’s a pre-packaged meal delivered to their house. And even then I often hear them complain about it not turning out. I once had a colleague tell me they couldn’t make a grilled cheese…A GRILLED CHEESE PEOPLE, what????
This just seems crazy to me. I love cooking, it’s therapeutic and such a great way to get creative. I can remember being a kid and being in the kitchen with my parents when they cooked. They would throw some of this in, and add a little of that. Before we knew it dinner was on the table and we sat together and enjoyed the meal.
As I got older, cooking is not this big scary beast because we were involved and help. In fact, I have a scar on my finger from helping in the kitchen. But really, it’s more than that…it’s a sweet memory I have of making donuts one morning before school with my dad. It’s a memory I’ve remembered and cherished forever, especially now that he’s gone.
So, besides just creating a good meal, I want my girls to know and learn that cooking is fun. Getting in the kitchen has many benefits and today I’m sharing my top five.
Five Ways Cooking With Your Kids Is Beneficial
Learn Patience – As a busy mom, I tend to rush through things to get it all done. But cooking with the girls slow things down a bit. We both learn a little patience during this process. I learn to let them pour slowly, mix at their own pace and let go of control a bit. The girls learn things don’t come instantly, it takes time and patience for things to be complete.
Gives Self Confidence – You know that feeling you get when you start something and finally finish it. You feel accomplished, right? Well it’s the same thing with cooking. Now magnify it and that’s how a kid feels. They are so proud of what they did. They gain the confidence to start something and see it through. This type of confidence will lead to bigger things as they grow up, but it will also give them the confidence later to cook when they’re on their own.
Teaches Creativity – Cooking is about experimenting. You take different foods and seasonings mix it together and see how it turns out. I like to make this like a science experiment. Sure they don’t taste the things they’re creating now, but they will one day. I cook by looking at a recipe, seeing what I have and then figuring out alternatives for the things I don’t. Being flexible is part of creativity, that’s something I want my girls to know and understand.
Gives Joy – Making a meal, plating it and serving it to your friends, family and/or guest is satisfying. Seeing people enjoy their food gives so much joy to the soul. This also brings you back to to confidence. When people love it, it makes you want to do more.
Creates A Special Bond + Memories – Every time I cook with my girls we have so much fun. I can remember making Valentine’s cake pops one year, the photos above are our Pinkalicious cupcakes Aria wanted to make recently and there are so many other moments. Amelia comes into the kitchen every time I cook and wants to help. We always have fun, laugh a lot and make a big mess. It’s these memories I have with my parents and my girls will have them with me. It’s such a special thing to remember. After all, love is created in the kitchen.
I’ve had my girls in the kitchen since they were born. Wearing them in my sling and as they have gotten older graduated them to doing things like stirring, pouring and putting together something entirely. I’ve come to realize kids will eat what they want, when they want. All you can do is put the options out there and let them choose. But, there is nothing like the memories you create when you get in the kitchen with your kids. Sure there may be a bigger mess by letting them measure and pour, but there are also lots of laughs and good food. It creates a feeling of the kitchen being less scary and an environment when you can get it there and create.
I’d love to hear how you’re getting your kids into the kitchen. What are your favorite things to make with them? Let me know by commenting below!
Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope you Get Out There and have a Gorgeous week!