How many times you let your kids out of the kitchen, having no time to let them be involved, or just being tired and drained out of energy, or simply not in the mood. However i am sure there were many other times you really enjoyed cooking or baking together with so much fun.
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, i encourage you to do it more often. Trust me the benefits to their development justify the extra efforts.
Reasons to cook with your kids:
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” saying : “Nady did this!” 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, follow me this week. I will be writing a series of posts with easy recipes to enjoy cooking with your mini chefs!
Today we baked mini Nutella tarts. You will need:
- 250g flour (sifted)
- 125g cold butter diced
- 3-4 tbsp water
- nutella chocolate
Let your kid sieve the flour into a mixing bowl and add the butter cubes.
Rub the flour and butter to become like sand. Add the water one tbsp after the other and watch your genius kneading.
We placed the dough for 15 mins in the fridge before working it. Meanwhile we cleaned the mess around us.
Sprinkle little flour on your working surface and roll out the dough.
and cut circles to fit in the muffin tray.
Nady cut also hearts and stars to decorate the top of each tart.
Put almost one tbsp of the chocolate into the middle of each tart.
Let your kid choose any shape to decorate the top of the tart.
Preheat oven to 200°C and bake for 15 mns or until top is golden brown.
Meanwhile arrange again the mess you did, teaching your kids to be clean and tidy, which is an important and fun part of cooking as well.
Let it cool before your little chef taste the reward of his efforts.
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