Involve children in meal preparation
I can vividly remember being about three years old and helping my grandmother in the kitchen; she used to sit me on the kitchen counter and allowed me to be part of the meal preparation process. To this day I attribute my love for the kitchen and healthy eating to the opportunities she provided me at a very young age and allowing me to explore in the kitchen. I am passing this forward by involving my son in my cooking routine and allowing him to wash the vegetables, measure out the flour, sprinkle herbs on vegetables, baking cookies and many other cooking related activities. I believe that kids are more likely to try different foods if you involve them in the process of selecting, preparing, and serving foods.
According to a WebMD article, Cooking With Your Children some of the benefit are:
- It encourages kids to try healthy foods.
- Kids feel like they are accomplishing something and contributing to the family.
- Kids are more likely to sit down to a family meal when they helped prepare it.
- Parents get to spend quality time with their kids.
- Kids aren’t spending time in front of the TV or computer while they’re cooking.
- Kids generally aren’t eating junk food when they’re cooking a meal at home.
- Learning to cook is a skill your children can use for the rest of their lives.
- Kids who learn to eat well may be more likely to eat healthfully as adults.
- Positive cooking experiences can help build self-confidence.
If your are new to cooking or looking to make changes in your kitchen or at the kitchen table this great opportunity to grab a new cookbook and try out new recipes together as as a family! If you not to comfortable with your skills in the kitchen join a cooking with kids class locally. These classes are popping up locally across the country. Some supermaket chains like HEB, Wegmans and Wholefood also offer summer cooking programs for kids to attend.
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