Can you imagine cooking with your children in the kitchen? Flour everywhere, multiple dirty dishes and bumping into each other making a twenty-minute recipe take forty-five minutes or more. Is it worth it? Simply put…YES.
Having your children help in the kitchen builds amazing memories and helps build on multiple skills your child needs. Cooking is an adventure of the senses that explores math, science and self- help skills. I loved having my son help me in the kitchen. When he grew up and was on his own, he called me from the dorms of the military to express his surprise at how many in the dorms couldn’t make a simple meal for themselves. Being able to rely on yourself is s huge self-esteem boost. Being able to cook is huge opportunity for independence.
Academic skills play a big part of cooking. Introducing measuring tools such as measuring cups and spoons encourage learning about cups, ounces, teaspoons and tablespoons. Children can learn about fractions when halving or doubling recipes. Yes, even preschoolers. Mixing water with flour and seeing two different substances change is science. Discovering what happens to an egg when you whisk it can be absolutely fascinating to a child. No funnier way to then science! Working with a recipe and following the directions is a great literacy activity. Even if they can’t read the recipe, they are learning to associate actions to the written word. They learn that reading is meaningful beyond bedtime stories. One thing I have learned about cooking with children is how much better the eat (including your picky eaters) when they have spent time preparing the food. They get to see it, smell it and have ownership in what they are eating.
Cooking with children can be a very rewarding experience. Check out this web site to help you get started https://kidshealth.org › parents › cooking-preschool.
Try this simple recipe of an all-time favorite.
Three-Cheese Grilled Cheese
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 8 slices sourdough bread
- 4 slices cheddar cheese (about 3 ounces)
- 4 slices Swiss cheese (about 3 ounces)
- 4 slices American cheese (about 3 ounces)
Spread the butter on one side of each bread slice. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Put 2 bread slices in the skillet, buttered side down. Layer a slice each of cheddar, Swiss and American cheese on each piece of bread, then cover with another bread slice, buttered side up.
Cook, pressing the sandwiches occasionally with a spatula, until the cheese melts and the bread is golden, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Repeat to make 2 more sandwiches. Slice each sandwich diagonally in half, then return to the hot pan, cut side down, to create a crust on the cheese.
Check for more recipes at https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/packages/recipes-for-kids/cooking-with-kids
Lead Pre-Kindergarten teacher
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