Saturday, February 16, 2008

Cooking With Your Children Can Teach Them Confidence And New Skills

Cooking with children? Hold it! Did I hear you wrongly? You heard me right and this is what this article that I read is all about. Most people will regard the kitchen as not a safe place for children; sharp knives, boiling water, fire etc. Even for me, it was a straight 'NO' to children in the kitchen before. To certain extent, the kitchen is indeed one of the places in the house where children must be kept out - especially when there are no adults around. Some may say, "I don't want them to mess up my kitchen. Hold your horses now. Before you make a firm decision whether or not you should cook with children, probably you want to read this article.

Personally I agree with the author that cooking with children is a good way to teach them about good and healthy food and which are the food to avoid or to consume less. What will be a better way to teach them about healthy food then a personal hands on experience for them. With you around looking after them, you can ensure their safety.Cooking with children can also teach them to be responsible. I have previously posted an article, 'Gardening with Children' that mentioned about teaching children responsibilities through garden.

Not only that, I am sure it will be a great bonding activity with your children and at the same time, it can give their confidence a great boost. Just remember to always practice extra care and cooking with children can very well be an enjoyable experience for both you and your children.

If you're not a natural cook who has a passion for experimenting with food and you don't go crazy about having the right kitchen utensils and equipment in your kitchen, then cooking is probably something you feel you have to do and if someone else offers to cook for you or you can eat out, you're more than happy to do the latter two options. Because cooking can be a real chore if you're not that fussy about what you eat and how it's cooked. However, if you have children you not only have to do it every day but you also have to think about their well-being in terms of what's healthy for them. Have you thought about cooking with your children?

When you think about cooking with children, you would more likely come up with special occasion scenarios where your kids will help you with putting the buttons on the ginger bread men while they try to lick the chocolate sauce - like in the movies. But to cook with them every day sounds almost a scary feat. You don't have to do it every day but try once a week and see how many days you and your children can handle.

Okay, granted, the cooking process would take a little longer and depending on how co-operative and helpful your children are, it could be frustrating at times. But managed properly, cooking could possibly be a more enjoyable experience for you and a more educational experience for your kids. It's also a way to connect with your children making a mundane chore into a sharing experience.

If you can get your children interested, they'd naturally become curious and ask you lots of questions. And if they do, take this cooking experience with them as an opportunity to teach them about which foods are good and healthy and which foods should be used or eaten moderately. The fact that the obesity rate of children are at a high in the United States and other prospering countries is another good reason to make sure your children gets a good head start by explaining to them why it's better to use Extra Virgin olive oil in cooking or eating salad is better than having sugary desserts every night not only sets an example but also gives them the logic behind why you dish out certain types of foods.

Whilst cooking, your children can help you with measuring quantities of various food stuff that you're using and if you can devise a game where your child can help you count solid foods before peeling and asking them to add more or take some away will help them to become more confident at counting. You'd be able to entertain the younger children and educate them at the same time. The older children would find measuring liquids in a jug or flour on a scale a little more challenging especially if you ask them to halve the quantity or double it. Even some adults still find that sort of task challenging. Sometimes providing a little incentive, something that they can win can make them ever so excited to go along with the cooking games.

If your games are devised in a way that makes it so that your children gets things right most of time, this encourages them more to participate in the cooking process making it easier for you and making them more confident about speaking up, joining in and build on their arithmetic and creative abilities.

At the end of all the cooking, praise them for what they've done, show them what their contribution in the cooking process has created. Let them feel as though they were responsible for making dinner for you and your partner which will further help their confidence, build their sense of pride about contributing within the family. And when eating the food, the fact that everyone is enjoying the food they help made really gives them a sense of accomplishing something worthwhile. Of course, you get to feel like you've been a good mother!

About the Author: Penny Roberts writes articles for various websites. The Little Cookbook is one of them.

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Blogger Nhea said...

well said....

11:50 PM  

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