We live in the age of maximum convenience, where we want everything done faster and with less effort than ever before. Technology replaces many of the physical and mental tasks we are required to do daily. Convenience foods are becoming the ‘normal’ instead of the ‘occasional’. Kids are growing up believing that food comes from a packet or a tin. According to the World Health Organisation, 41 million children under 5 years old are obese or overweight. So what we can we do about this? I’m not suggesting that you or I can solve this global problem, but we can do our part. It begins at home, with our own children. We all know the advantages of occasionally using pre-packaged foods or a fast-food takeaway. My own children certainly enjoy this every once in a while, so please don’t be misled into thinking I cook from scratch every night of the week! 🙂 But I believe that cooking and teaching our children how to cook and bake is very important. Here’s why.
- It is great bonding time between you and your children.
- It’s educational. Learning about ingredients, different types of vegetables and cuts of meat is great for kids. Not to mention, the weighing out of ingredients is great for numeracy skills.
- It creates lasting memories. If the experience is enjoyable your children will look back and remember it with fondness.
- It develops confidence and gives a sense of responsibility, when you are involving your child in preparing meals or snacks for the whole family.
- It is all part of raising independent adults. There’s nothing worse than hearing about the university student who lives on beans on toast because he doesn’t know how to make anything else!
- It can set a pattern of healthy eating patterns. Children are much more likely to try new foods if they have been involved in preparing or cooking the food.
- It takes the fear out of using kitchen equipment. Also, it’s much safer to teach your children the correct way to use a knife or other tool, to avoid having a teenager who nearly cuts her thumb off slicing a melon!
- It’s fun!
- It can include children of all ages. From the toddler who makes top hats to the teenager cooking curry.
- It’s a basic life skill that you can teach without having to pay someone else! So many of the activities our children take part in cost money, swimming lessons, sports clubs, music lessons, driving lessons – the list its endless! But cooking is something we can all teach, even if we are learning as we go along.
If you feel like your own cooking skills are lacking, you are not alone! I would say mine are limited at best. Thankfully we live with the world at our fingertips – literally. If I don’t know how to do something, I look it up online. Maybe this is something that might help you too!