Meal preparations can be stressful for parents — getting kids to eat is one thing, but preparing a decent meal amidst all the parenting and adult responsibilities is another. It can be so tempting to just ban kids altogether from the kitchen just so you can cook in peace. But here’s an idea to consider — why not get your kids to help out in the kitchen? Aside from getting much-needed assistance in the preparations, your kids can also reap a number of benefits from spending some time in the kitchen with you. Here are a few:
Kids love to volunteer and show off what they can do, and letting them help out in the kitchen provides them the opportunities to do so. It gives them a sense of responsibility and accomplishment that helps boost their self-esteem. You can further nurture this by giving them instant feedback on their work and praising them for their efforts, even if the output is not exactly what you expected.
Develop communication skills.
One key way to develop your kids’ communication skills is to talk and listen to them. And working together in the kitchen will give you a great opportunity to do just that. Communicate with them throughout your task and ask open-ended questions, answerable by more than just a yes or no. Doing so will allow them to develop their communication skills, by listening and conversing with you.
Harness reading comprehension skills.
The kitchen can be the perfect place to get chatty with your kids. If your kids are early readers, then reading the recipes with them can be a great way to practice their reading skills. At the same time, talking through the recipe and going through the ingredients together can help build their vocabulary – introducing them to complex words such as blanch, braise, or sear. At the same time, helping out in the kitchen can harness kids’ reading comprehension skills. There’s no better practice for this than successfully preparing a dish, which entails properly understanding and following the recipe to a tee.
Practice math skills.
Recipes have a set yield and we sometimes have to double or half that based on our needs. Doubling a recipe involves addition or multiplication skills while splitting it in half could involve division skills. So yes, cooking can let your kids practice their math in the kitchen and in a real-life setting. Plus, chances are, they’re fully absorbed and enjoying their tasks that they wouldn’t even realize that they’re doing math.
Learn real-life science.
Cooking is almost similar to science experiments in that it involves a whole lot of understanding concepts, mixing ingredients, and following instructions. Too much salt or sugar or not enough mixing or heat can result in an unfavorable dish. Letting your kids help out in the kitchen can provide them with hands-on experience in basic science.
Learn an important life skill – cooking!
One of the most important benefits in letting your children learn their way around the kitchen early on is to let them learn the basics of cooking. Doing so will ensure that they get enough basic kitchen skills and cooking know-how, which they can further develop in the long run. Having a teen who can cook a simple meal for himself is healthier and more cost-effective than a teen who will make-do with ready-to-eat meals or take outs. The end goal is to raise adults who are confident and competent enough to fend for themselves in the kitchen.
And finally, cooking can be considered fun! Kids love to mix and create stuff, and cooking allows them to do just that. Cooking sessions with your kids can result to wonderful family memories for everyone. Plus, studies have shown that kids get more out of experiences than from the latest toy or gadget. And these experiences don’t have to be pricey either. So moments spent with you, whipping up a dish and having fun while doing it – making a game out of identifying and cutting up the vegetables, getting laughs out of food jokes, or mixing up a storm – will definitely stay with them even as they grow up. Ultimately, letting your kids help out in the kitchen has a number of lasting advantages: fun today while they are kids, and an important life skill and lifelong memories as they get older.
So, if you’re interested in letting your child shine in the kitchen, then here’s an easy and well-loved recipe that you and your kids can try — the classic macaroni salad.
The macaroni salad is a staple in every family dining table because it’s yummy, filling, and easy to do. Plus, you can easily adjust it based on your family’s preferences — by adding more veggies to make it healthier, pineapples to make it sweeter, or even chicken bits to make it tastier. Here’s a classic macaroni salad recipe that you can follow:
Easy-peasy, right? That’s because the simplest dishes can be made even more special just by using only the yummiest and highest quality ingredients. For this recipe, most moms would agree that the best macaroni salads are the ones made with Lady’s Choice Mayonnaise. So let your kids in the kitchen, pop open that jar of Lady’s Choice Mayonnaise, and start preparing your very own classic macaroni salad.
*Published with Lady’s Choice Mayonnaise.