“Cooking with kids is not just about ingredients, recipes, and cooking. It’s about harnessing imagination, empowerment, and creativity “
– Guy Fieri
I’m always looking for inspiring activities to do with my kids. From piano lessons to curling and hip hop to baseball, we’ve tried it all! My main objective is to expose my kids to as many new experiences as possible so they can discover what they really LOVE to do.
So, in our mania of activity, I’ve recently discovered that my kids LOVE to cook. I love to cook as well, so this new found family activity made me very, very happy. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of hours spent cooking with my grandmother so I was definitely excited to pull out my tattered Second Helpings Cookbook and start cooking with them.
Even though this activity is somewhat outside the box and not a typical extracurricular activity, I encouraged their enthusiasm to experiment with different foods, textures, spices and cultures. They love printing new recipes off the internet and enjoy going to Adonis or IGA to buy their ingredients.
As you can probably imagine, three kids cooking in a kitchen is somewhat chaotic.
Almost every meal in our home has now turned into a cooking EXTRAVAGANZA. With pots and pans clanking, the kitchen island cluttered with food and the fridge door constantly left open, my kids have made cooking into an exciting and productive family activity. In our home, meal time has always been a time for family bonding – but now we have hand made menus, creatively set tables and exciting themes like Mexican fiesta night, Burger night or Breakfast for Supper night. They have also become very skilled at chopping, cubing and sautéing. The only skill they haven’t yet mastered is cleaning up!
Its never too early to start exposing your kids to new and creative activities.
I’m thrilled that my kids have discovered the joy of cooking. It gives me great satisfaction to watch them in action. Their eager involvement has made meal time somewhat easier and defiantly more fun, despite the mess. Watching them work together as a team is wonderful. My kids have become aspiring Master Chef Junior contestants and I will continue to encourage and empower them with pride.
My top 5 reasons why cooking with your kids is a great activity:
1. Using recipes, foods and spices from different countries teaches kids about different cultures and encourages them to try new foods
2. Being helpful in the kitchen or cooking a recipe on their own gives kids a sense of pride and builds self esteem.
3. Trying new recipes, setting the table with unique decor or using new cooking utensils helps promote creativity.
4. Reading recipes and understanding measurements helps improve reading and math skills.
5. Spending time interacting while cooking as a group brings families closer together and encourages communication.
Do your kids like to cook? I’d love to hear about your experiences with them!