Cooking With Kids

October 4, 2013

Teachers often avoid cooking with young children because of the danger associated with hot appliances. But you can cook a wide variety of snacks and meals without using heat.

Child care experts agree that children appreciate a wider variety of food when they participate in preparation. And, don’t be surprised at the number of skills you help children develop along the way. Here are just a few of the reasons cooking should be a regular part of your curriculum.

  • Cooking encourages creativity. Allow children to make decisions, add extra features, and do as much of the work as possible. Praise youngsters for experimenting and making something different. For example, the Happy Face Salad activity below gives children the opportunity to be creative and unique. 
  • Cooking teaches how things change. Through various processes in the kitchen – heating, freezing, grinding, and beating – food is made ready to eat. Cooking can be a great extension of your science units. Through the simple mixing of ingredients or watching water boil or freeze, for example, children can experience different states of matter.
  • Cooking builds self-confidence. Realizing they can take part in and contribute to the adult world, provides great satisfaction for children and develops positive self-esteem. 
  • Cooking experiences develop children’s small motor control. Using cooking tools, such as shredders, graters, grinders, and melon ballers develops fine motor skills and adds to a healthy self-concept.
  • Cooking teaches about sex roles. Food preparation is available to all children without regard to sex. Teachers may need to dispel the notion that preparing food is only for girls as cooking activities are of great interest to boys. 
  • Cooking teaches about other cultures. Food preparation is universal to all people regardless of socio-economic level or culture. Invite parents or community volunteers to lead the children in creating a cool cooking snack from another country or culture.

Check out this link to get some cool recipes to get you started! So roll up your sleeves and cook!