Does the idea of kids in the kitchen frustrate you? Today, I’m sharing 8 reasons I teach my kids to cook! Read on to see why you should, too.
It’s happened, ya’ll! I’m sitting down to write this post as my daughter cooks dinner. I’m not doing a thing but supervising from the living room as she chops, slices, sautés, and cooks. It didn’t happen overnight, but my priority of getting my kids in the kitchen with me has finally paid off.
Of course, my daughter started young, and let’s face it. Teaching young kids to cook or help in the kitchen can be frustrating. Especially at first! For a long time, I had to fight the urge to just do it all myself so we could hurry and get dinner on the table, but I knew we were working toward an end goal of being able to cook on her own, so I stuck with it.
Do your kids know how to cook? If you’re looking for some encouragement, check out my top 10 reasons to teach kids to cook below!
8 Reasons to Get Your Kids in the Kitchen
When you’re struggling through the early days of teaching your kids to cook, it can seem like it’s more work than it’s worth. But, as a mama who has come out the other side and now has at least one kid who can cook a full meal regularly, let me tell you: It’s worth it.
Check out these reasons why you should teach your kids too cook. They’re sure to keep you motivated!
1. You’ll create more adventurous eaters.
I don’t know about you, but I know it’s a struggle to get my youngest kid to try new foods. Especially, you know, foods of the green variety!
I’ve noticed that she is a lot more apt to try new foods when she’s been a part of the cooking process. In fact, it’s pretty well known that getting kids to help prep their food makes them more likely to try it!
2. You’ll teach them responsibility.
In our house, dinner is sort of treated like a chore. Just like I expect my kids to pick up their rooms and put their dirty dishes in their sinks, I also expect them to help out with dinner.
By having kids help with these basic chores, it teaches them responsibility and gives them a gradual introduction to what they’ll be expected to do as adults!
3. They’ll learn about nutrition.
As I cook with my kids, we talk all about the ingredients we’re using, what they’re good for, and why we need them.
My kids understand that we need leafy greens at every meal, and they know the difference between proteins, carbs, fats, and junk. They learn all of this hands on while we’re working in the kitchen together.
I don’t know about your kids, but I know mine retain information much better when they can see how it pertains to their actual lives. So, teaching them these things as we are preparing the food we’re going to eat makes a lot more sense than when they read it in a text book.
4. They’ll learn to follow directions.
Being able to follow step by step directions and understand them is a vital part of learning to cook.
Plus, by reading these regularly, they’ll be a lot more familiar with the “how-to” format of a paper, so it won’t be such a foreign concept when it comes up in school!
5. Getting your kids in the kitchen boosts their confidence.
Our kids want to be independent and be able to do things themselves. By learning a new, vital skill set, they’ll be another step closer to that. It’s amazing what that can do for a kid’s confidence!
Cooking is such an important skill, and when they know they can do it well, and help mom at the same time, their confidence grows and they’ll be more encouraged to keep learning.
6. They’ll learn an important life skill.
This one is probably obvious, but still worth pointing out.
Getting your kids in the kitchen and teaching them to cook is a valuable life skill!
You know, when I moved out of my parents’ house, I couldn’t boil water. It was so bad. I didn’t actually learn to cook until my daughter was born, and it took a long time to get good at it.
I’m so, so, glad now that I took the time to learn. And, even more importantly, I promised myself my kids wouldn’t leave my house without understanding the basics of this skill.
7. It teaches them to be thankful.
We all know how much work is involved in preparing a good dinner, but do your kids?
When they help prep and cook dinner, kids learn just how much work it actually is, and they learn to be thankful for what’s being provided. I know when my kids have spent time helping in the kitchen, they’re much less likely to complain about what’s being served, and much more likely to say thank you!
8. Getting your kids in the kitchen gives you more time to spend together.
I don’t know about you, but in my house, our evenings always feel so rushed. Having my kids in the kitchen with me gives us time to talk and bond and slow things down just a little.
In order to keep this time enjoyable instead of stressful, just keep these tips in mind:
- be realistic in your expectations of them.
- remember to explain yourself thoroughly
- create rules for kitchen safety and go over them before you start cooking
- choose simple recipes to start with- something you’re very comfortable making
Kid Friendly Meal Ideas to Try
A big part of teaching kids to cook is getting them excited about food, and that comes from trying new things and liking them.
These are some great kid friendly meal ideas you can try and cook with your kids!
- Strawberry Oatmeal Bars from Well Plated
- Egg Roll in a Bowl from Well Plated
- Paleo Chili Recipe
- Cheese and Veg Muffins from Learn with Play at Home
- Easy Pizza Quesadillas from Six Sisters Stuff
- Easy Peach Crisp Recipe
- Pizza Pinwheels from Butter with a Side of Bread
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Foil Packs from Crafty Morning
- Cheese Enchilada Casserole
Kids in the Kitchen: Our Favorite Kids’ Kitchen Gear
This post contains affiliate links, which means I could earn a small commission based on my recommendations at no additional cost to you. To learn more, read my full disclosure here.
From cookbooks to finger guards, these tools have made my kids feel like real cooks.
Reasons to Get Your Kids in the Kitchen: Final Thoughts
Does the idea of kids in the kitchen frustrate you? It used to frustrate me, too. But now, as my oldest enters her pre-teen years and is cooking full dinners for the family, I’m enjoying the fruits of my labor. If you need a little encouragement to allow your kids to help you cook, check out the 8 reasons in this post and give it a go one night.