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7 reasons to introduce kids to cooking

Food can bring everyone together and cooking is something that the whole family can enjoy. From savouring quality time with each other to teaching an important life skill, here are seven reasons to introduce kids to cooking.

1. Spend quality time together

Cooking as a family means spending time together, and there’s also plenty of fun to be had. Get everyone involved, dividing up the tasks and encouraging the whole team to get stuck in. Not only will you all enjoy being together, the kitchen tasks will get done quicker too.

2. Encourage healthy eating

One of the biggest benefits of introducing kids to cooking is the opportunity to encourage healthy eating. Rather than seeing food as something that comes out of a box in the cupboard or freezer, this is a chance to show them how meals can be cooked from a variety of healthy and nutritious ingredients. Slip in nuggets of educational info as you go and they won’t even realise that they’re being taught. Furthermore, if you teach them delicious recipes they won’t even realise how healthy they are, like this shrimp chop suey which is packed full of veg and healthy protein but tastes like you ordered a takeaway!

3. Learn new skills

A large part of cooking is learning new skills, picking up new techniques and discovering new recipes. It could be learning how to slice, accurately measure out ingredients, cook a piece of fish, roll out pasta dough or even prepare a quick and easy vegan chocolate cake – there’s so much to learn.

4. Develop their palettes

It’s really tempting to reach for quick and easy food when you’re eating with kids, but this isn’t always the best way to go. Getting them involved in the prep and cooking of meals can really help encourage them to try new things and develop their palettes as they grow. For example, meal prepping with fish is a great way to get them to try things like wild prawns and other kinds of seafood, and help get them open to cooking new dishes. 

5. Broaden their culinary horizons

Whether it’s preparing recipes from around the globe or looking into food preferences and dietary requirements like vegetarianism, veganism or gluten free, cooking can show children how varied people’s eating habits are. From a complex Thai curry or a tasty philly cheesesteak marinade to a delicious vegan chocolate cake, it’s a real chance to open their minds as well as their taste buds.

6. Boost confidence

Any opportunity a child gets to develop new skills and receive praise is a chance to boost their confidence. Get them involved in cooking and they’ll love to learn and be told that they’ve done a great job.

7. Teach them an important life skill

One day your children will likely fly the nest… eventually. And with that comes the responsibility of preparing them for that future step. Learning how to cook gives you the peace of mind of knowing that they’ll be able to eat well when they head out into the big wide world.

So that’s seven reasons to introduce children to cooking, and you’ll discover plenty more along the way. Have fun!