While learning your way around the kitchen has many benefits, are lessons right for your child? If you’re not sure if your family would thrive in cooking classes, stick with us. Whether your child is a toddler or older, there are loads of fun and educational activities your little one can learn at home and in chef school. And with these top reasons why kids should learn how to cook, there’s no reason to wait to enroll them.
They’ll Learn About Nutrition
Cooking is an essential tool that we can use to teach our children about nutrition. Introducing kids to recipes that feature foods they don’t typically eat, such as fresh vegetables, allows them to taste test a new dish filled with vitamins and minerals. Even picky eaters are often more willing to venture beyond their comfort zone and dive into a wholesome meal they help prepare.
Also, educating children early about the importance of good nutrition can help sway their food choices for life. So as you and your children follow recipes, you can talk about the health benefits of each ingredient and why it’s vital to put nourishing foods on the table every day. Thankfully, your family can find plenty of positive food-related experiences in a cooking class, including developing healthy eating patterns.
They’ll Practice Math and Science Concepts
You don’t have to delve into converting complex fractions to introduce your child to math through cooking. Even toddlers can practice basic concepts by counting eggs. As children grow, they develop the skills to tackle bigger jobs. For instance, preschoolers can practice sequencing by following the different steps of a recipe, while kindergartners can measure ingredients into cups and help beat eggs. Older students can build planning and project-completing skills just by baking a cake. Other mathematical concepts kids can learn in cooking class include:
- Telling time to determine when a dish is cooked.
- Practicing geometry when choosing a 9-by-13-inch or a 9-by-9-inch pan.
- Learning to prepare shopping lists and grocery budgets.
Science is another subject that naturally unfolds in the kitchen as kids learn to cook. A lesson in how food changes with temperature is always fascinating to young learners. Toasting marshmallows is an easily understandable example of the Maillard reaction chemical process that kids can relate to. Plus, they’ll get a delicious treat out of it. You can also spend a fun learning afternoon on experiments such as making sugar crystal rock candy. Always remember to stay in the kitchen while your kids learn to cook and supervise them at all times for safety reasons.
They’ll Build Confidence
Beyond its educational value, navigating a recipe can help kids build confidence in and out of the kitchen. Preschoolers love showing their parents what they can do, and helping make a dish gives them a sense of accomplishment. The key is to provide kids ages 3 to 5 a job well-suited to their skill level and let them know that you always appreciate their help. If you’re not sure how to get them started, here are some simple and fun tasks that can get even the youngest family member involved in cooking:
- Pouring ingredients into a bowl.
- Sprinkling cheese on a casserole.
- Kneading bread dough.
- Using a cookie cutter to make biscuits.
- Stirring cake batter.
- Tearing lettuce for a salad.
- Assembling toppings on a pizza.
- Turning the cookbook pages.
They’ll Grow Their Vocabulary
Even the simplest recipes tend to have words we may not be familiar with, even as adults. Whether you and your little one need to Google “saute vs. stir fry,” this time in the kitchen is the ideal opportunity to grow the whole family’s vocabulary.
Cooking is also a terrific way to show kids that reading matters. So as you read the direction together, you’ll introduce your child to many new words while helping promote literacy. Following instructions that result in a delicious dish provides kids with tangible proof of reading’s practical benefits. It’s also a great way to teach kids about other cultures by reading about the origins of international foods, and like healthy eating, these good habits will last a lifetime.
They’ll Indulge All 5 Senses
Many preschoolers are picky eaters, and encouraging them to cook can help them open up to new foods by indulging all their senses. There are so many wonders in the kitchen beyond taste. The culinary arts can help kids discover the feeling of sharing the food they make with others while exploring their senses. These include:
- Sight: Learning to love colors such as tomato red or identify a crust baked to the ideal brown.
- Sound: Inviting them to listen to the whir of the mixer or the sizzle of steak on a hot grill.
- Smell: Experimenting with the scent of bold spices such as cinnamon or the tantalizing aroma of cookies baking in the oven.
- Touch: Kneading dough will allow them to feel different textures, and touch confirms food ripeness.
Why Kids Should Learn To Cook at Crème de la Crème
Crème de la Crème’s childcare centers expose kids to various elements, including the culinary arts. The Chef It Up class is a student favorite at our school, whether it’s their first time in the kitchen or your child’s already developed a love of cooking. Our research-based curriculum is a good fit for budding new chefs because it provides a fun and safe way for preschoolers to learn valuable, real-world skills while building good nutritional habits. Likewise, our nurturing environment will help strengthen your child’s cognitive abilities, boost social skills, and improve confidence so kids can become well-rounded learners.
Are You Ready To Enroll?
The early childhood educators at Crème de la Crème know that the memories you and your little ones make together in the kitchen are priceless. So we’ve put together this guide full of excellent reasons why kids as young as 3 should learn to cook. And if you’d like to know more about our culture and what sets our school apart, contact us today.
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