This October (20th – 27th) marks Family Friendly Week – an annual event in the UK that encourages parents and their children to “cook together, share together laugh together”.
Cooking is a particularly enjoyable activity to do as a family, and can be very valuable for strengthening bonds and building trust. It can also have several other benefits – particularly for children.
Below are some of the reasons why you should get your kids involved with cooking.
Cooking encourages kids to eat healthy foods
Allowing children to get involved in choosing, preparing and making dishes encourages them to eat a wider variety of foods. They will feel more familiar with what is on their plate and over time will be more comfortable trying new things and healthy foods.
Cooking builds self-esteem
The sense of pride and accomplishment that comes with preparing and cooking food will help kids to feel better about themselves and their abilities – especially if people like and eat their food!
Cooking improves maths and reading skills
Following step-by-step instructions and weighing up ingredients is great for helping your kids to learn simple reading and numeracy kills. Cooking and baking will familiarise your children with certain words, quantities, temperatures and cooking times among other things.
Cooking teaches children about different cultures
It is far more interesting to teach kids about the Chinese New Year or the country of Mexico by cooking dishes native to these cultures – for example Kung Pao chicken or fajitas. Kids learn by experience and cooking engages all of their senses, helping them to remember what they’ve learned simply by smelling, tasting or seeing something.