Children's Development

5 Positive Things That Happen When You Cook with Kids During the Holidays

Cook with Kids This Holiday Season

It’s the day before Thanksgiving, and you’re hard at work rolling, mixing, basting, and stuffing in your kitchens.

Mid-roll, you feel a tug on the hem of your shirt. “I wanna help!”

You know that you could make this pie yourself, with little mess, and far less time than it would take with two little extra hands. But there are so many positive things that happen when you allow your kiddos to help you cook and bake during the holidays—trust us, it’s well worth the extra cleanup time.

Here are 5 ways letting your child help cook this year can benefit you both!

1.You’ll Forge a Stronger Relationship with Your Child

We already know that children are less stressed and have a better relationship with their parents when they eat dinner together. Later on in life, regular family dinners result in a lower risk of depression, substance abuse, and even grade point averages.

The bottom line? The more opportunities you provide your child to open up and talk with you, the more likely they are to experience these benefits. Open doors of communication can start anywhere—but the kitchen is an especially great place to start. If your child is too young to help you out, try getting them their own kid-safe kitchen play set where they can practice!

2.Your Child Will Gain Confidence

When your child first helps you bake a boxed cake mix, they may find it challenging to crack eggs, sound out the words of the recipe, or turn on a mixer.

After a few months of helping  in the kitchen, they will discover they are capable of not only cracking eggs by themselves, but maybe also cracking eggs with just one hand—and getting no shells in the batter. Their confidence in their abilities will increase monumentally when you turn their attempts into positive learning experiences.

3.Your Child Will Gain Knowledge in Spelling, Math, and Science

As your child stumbles their way through reading a recipe, messes up on measurements, and puts baking soda in a recipe instead of baking powder (we’ve all been there), she’ll be learning valuable hands-on lessons. Who says school breaks can’t be fun and educational?

Try doubling a recipe for gingerbread men, and ask your child what the new measurements are. This can get tricky, depending on how many fractions there are! Share the leftovers with friends and neighbors, or freeze extras for another day.

4.You’ll Establish Your Child’s Healthy Eating Habits

You’d be amazed what happens to your child’s plate after you cook together. All kinds of foods they used to turn their noses up to might make an appearance! Part of the reason kids dislike certain foods is because they’re not cooked in a way that’s appealing to them (read: boiled brussels sprouts).

Challenge your child to try something new, or choose to cook something in a different way and see how they react. The best part? One study showed that kids who cook increase their consumption of fruits and veggies, and are more willing to experiment with new foods. Watch your picky eaters transform!

5.You’ll Both Have More Fun During the Holidays

Who likes to be cooped up in the kitchen while everyone in the dining room is laughing and enjoying themselves? Not many of us. When you involve the whole family in the cooking process, you will all have a lot more fun.

Oh, and the best part? When your child sees the enjoyment others get out of their creations during the holidays, they will feel proud to be a part of the kitchen crew.

When you let your child help you cook, you’ll reap the benefits all year long—but the holidays are an especially great time to get them involved. The snowy or rainy days will give you a reason to stay inside, and there are plenty of opportunities to give away yummy goodies!

Want to learn more about boosting your child’s learning opportunities while having fun during the holidays? Sign up to get ECR4Kid’s weekly blogs in your inbox, or follow us on ECR4Kids’ Facebook or Twitter.

 

Cook with children during the holidays, and see the positive outcomes from it!