Last month I walked into my daughter Audrey’s room and somehow triggered an emotional melt down. I came in to wake her, but I found her already dressed. The moment I peaked my head into the room I caught a sharp disapproving glare from Audrey, and then hysterics.
It took a good five minutes of bawling/fast-talking before the wails turned into sobs and then finally, sniffles. I had no idea what was going on, but I could tell she was upset with ME and I hadn’t even done anything but walk into the room!
But that was just it. She didn’t want me there. She had secretly planned to make breakfast herself.
Audrey is only 5, so I didn’t expect her to have such a strong desire to start cooking! I told her that I’d start teaching her. Then, she could cook for breakfast for the family on Saturday mornings. And she has been doing a great job ever since! Every Saturday she wakes herself up early, gets dressed, brushes her teeth brushed (usually), and puts breakfast on the table!
Like Audrey, most children have a strong desire to participate in the kitchen. Instead of letting them in, give them plastic food to play with! While toys are fun and useful to a point, why not teach children a real skill that they will use for the rest of their lives?
Teaching children to cook at a young age builds confidence, character, and communication skills. It gives them a way to contribute to the family so they feel important, needed, and respected.
Even though most of us cook 2-3 times a day, we totally overlook cooking with our kids. Cooking is a huge motivator that can be used to inspire, correct, and educate. That’s why True Aim is starting a Cooking with Kids series! I’ll be sharing tips, tricks, recipes, and more to help you cook with your children.
If you don’t want to miss one of my Cooking With Kids posts, make sure you like me on Facebook or follow me on Pinterest!
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I heartily applaud everything you said here – and for the exact same reasons….plus one more! Kids love the personal time their parents/grandparents spend with them, but sometimes it’s not easy to give up an hour of time to sit in a pile of Legos! When the kids join you in the kitchen they get their attention and the adults get a necessary task completed! I am looking forward to your series because I cook with my grandkids all the time and, as you know, many recipes are not suited for kids in the kitchen.
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That is a great point Joyce! Children love quality time, and cooking really helps create those moments. Thanks so much!
Jeanette Nyberg says
I am definitely guilty of scooting my kids out of the kitchen when I want to cook. Probably because it’s usually a last-minute scramble to throw something together for dinner. I’m attempting to focus on Saturdays as a cooking-with-kids day, because you’re right- it is really important to spend that time with them and help them feel confident!
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Batman Caps India says
Teaching children cook in young age build confidence and they also give contribute to the family so that they can feel important.
Sheli Gossett says
I am a first grade teacher with 27 years of experience. I have cooked with all of my classes since I started teaching years ago. I currently cook every Friday with my students, although it’s getting more and more difficult with the increasing academic and paperwork demand placed on teachers. I have written grants to support my endeavors. I firmly believe in giving children real world hands-on opportunities to learn. Cooking covers every subject area. I even have my students write about their experiences. I have made cookbooks, aprons and chef hats, but greatest of all are the memories. I had a student who moved away years ago and is now much older, she recently hunted me down through Facebook and told me some of her favorite memories were cooking and she loves to cook today because of those experiences.
Wow Sheli! What a great story and opportunity that you gave to those children. Thanks so much for sharing it with my readers and me!
Becca @ The Earthlings Handbook says
I totally agree! My 8-year-old likes to cook and is very proud that he can now make scrambled eggs by himself. His dad also enjoyed cooking when he was little and was encouraged by his mother and grandmother and school, which is fabulous because he’s now able to cook as well as I am, and at times (most notably, when I have pregnancy nausea and can barely even think about food that isn’t ready to eat right now) that’s been crucial to keeping our family going.
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Andrea :: Crafting Connections says
Oh how sweet (though the tears break my heart!) I love how motivated your little one is to cook on her own. I’ve been cooking with my two little ones since they were old enough to stir. What cracks me up is the fact that my eldest (she’s 4) insists on tasting EVERYTHING – including baking soda (yuck!) and flour (which she’s declared to be tasty!) You may be interested in an article I wrote last year on all the awesome things cooking with little ones teaches (without them even knowing it!) – http://www.craftingconnections.net/the-blog/nothing-short-of-awesome-cooking-with-kids/
Andrea :: Crafting Connections recently posted…Importance of Quick Creativity
We love to cook together and I find she often eats more of the food she has helped with. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!
Carrie recently posted…Flamingo Friday–A Flamingo Book for Fire Prevention Week
Thanks for making this a priority. You know I’m a huge proponent of cooking with kids. Good job!
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Natalie F says
I share your passion. Even with my busy full time job I am making a point of cooking and baking with my 6 year old on weekends. She is also making us breakfast (cereal) on Saturdays. I am hoping that she will become an independent cook by the time she is 10.
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So much learning can occur in the kitchen! This mom just needs to find the patience to let it happen 🙂 Thanks for sharing with After School!
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Sheila @ Pennies of Time says
What a great idea for a series! Eager to follow and use with my kids. Thanks for sharing at Magic Moments Monday!
Sheila @ Pennies of Time recently posted…Children’s Book on Kindness, Adopting a Pet: “Before You Were Mine”
Jillian Ritter says
This was great, thanks!
I recently wrote about what children are learning when they help prepare meals in my blog. I’ve included a chart based on age that includes ways to extend the learning. Check it out if you’re interested.
Jillian Ritter recently posted…Seeing the world through the eyes of a 3 year old – the first snow