In previous posts, i mentioned the reasons you should enjoy cooking with your kids, for how much benefits it has. To recapitulate:
- Literacy (building vocabulary): cooking with kids gives you the opportunity to introduce new words. You will be talking about the ingredients which gives them food knowledge. They will be observing and talking about the process as well (like creaming, whisking,…). It’s good to mention the new words several times and put them in a sentence they will understand and repeat after you. And when you read for them the recipe (if they can’t read yet) they will learn also that there is a method and instructions to follow. When am with with my son i enjoy mostly the open conversation we have all the time of cooking.
- Brain development by exploring their senses: sensory experience is essential for the brain development. Cooking engage all the senses of your kids; seeing, hearing, smelling, touching and tasting (especially smelling and tasting). My son is the curious type he likes to taste everything!
- Motor skills: Developing fine and gross motor skills is as important as the sensory experience. They will be training their tiny muscles (fingers, hands, arms and even all body) by stirring, whisking, beating, kneading….. I love watching my son doing all this, i see a small proud man using his beautiful hands magically 🙂
- Math and logic: By counting and using the measuring cups or spoons to follow the accurate recipe.
- Self esteem: you will experience the look of confidence and pride on your kid’s face when he sees the outcome and especially when he offers it to others. When i bake with my son, he keeps on telling what he did to everyone he sees, and insists on offering some of “his creations” and waiting for the rewards for his efforts.
All these benefits go without neglecting the amount of fun we have and the quality time together which is sacred for me.
The most important thing though is you don’t force the learning to happen, it should flow naturally. The golden rule is to enjoy the time with your kids in the kitchen.
If you like to cook with your kids but you are struggling to find simple recipes to do, here is one easy recipe, Nady shared with his friend Gia mae.
You will need:
- 3 cups flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 300g butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- food coloring
Mix butter, flour and sugar, and rub them until they become like sand. Add the eggs then vanilla. Mix well but don’t over mix. Divide the dough in half. Take one part and divide it as much as colors you want to use. We did 5! Roll the first half in rectangular shape, then the colored ones as strips within a rectangle. Put The colored rectangular dough on top of the first part and roll, following the scheme. Let it rest in the fridge for at least half an hour before cutting it.
Bake on a parchment paper for 8-10 minutes on 180°C. Let it cool before serving.
No doubt, cooking with kids takes more time and effort, but for the many learning experiences you can embrace while your kids are in the kitchen, and the fun you share, i encourage you to do it more often.