I realized a long time ago just how important it was to teach your kids how to cook. Life skills are crucial for our children as they become adults. Both boys and girls alike would benefit greatly from learning this life skill before they leave home. I mean, we all have to eat right?
I was a young adult when I attempted to make pancakes for the first time. I could not, for the life of me, get it right. When I did get it right, that was all I made until I learned the next “meal.” I have been on my own since I was young, and no one ever taught me how to cook. I also never cared to learn.
Fast forward about 18 years; everything came full circle. When I was raising my daughter, I was determined to teach her everything she needed to be an adult and fend for herself. I wanted to make sure wasn’t living off pancakes for months, as I did.
I get a phone call from her maybe a year after she started college, from her shared living apartment with a few random roommates.
That call was probably one of the best things a mom could hear from her college student; it was one of the sweetest things I had ever heard. I pick up the phone, and she says, “Mom, thank you.” I am thinking, “Is she OK?”
She began to tell me how her roommates were soo messy (gross even). I know that is harsh, but it’s real. She said they never did laundry because they took their laundry to their parents on the weekend. They didn’t know how to clean up after themselves and had no idea how to cook.
I can tell you some of the stories, but it may be meal time somewhere; I don’t want to ruin anyone’s appetite. The point is, my daughter hated all those life skills I was teaching her as a kid. She obeyed me, but she said inside her head she hated it. Now that she was on her own, she was grateful I made her learn to cook, clean, and do laundry.
You can start teaching your kids to cook even at an early age. Have your young children in the kitchen with you while you cook. Let them be your “sous chef.” A big part of learning to cook is being comfortable around the kitchen. Starting your kids off by helping you in the kitchen when they are young, will eliminate that fear of cooking early on.
That is the first step to teaching your kids how to cook. Let them know cooking isn’t only for mom.
There are a whole host of things to consider when teaching your children how to cook. It is more than making food. Keep reading to discover ways that teaching cooking can help build skills in multiple areas of life.
You might want to check out this post: FREE High School Home Economics Electives and Ideas
Consider these important things when teaching your kids how to cook:
Kids are more likely to eat the food that they help make. How hard is it to get your kids to eat veggies? Cooking will create a sense of ownership and confidence, breaking the reluctance to eating foods they normally wouldn’t eat.
Your kids will develop a mature palate when they are helping you cook and taste foods before serving. I remember not liking much of anything when I was young. That was because whenever I wanted McDonalds or pizza, I would get it. When my parents realized I didn’t want to eat anything but junk, it was horrific for them to try to get me to eat anything else.
Your kids will eat foods that have more nutrients, which opens up the opportunity to speak about nutrition with them.
Preparing meals together as a family creates quality time in an otherwise chaotic day. Sometimes the days pass us by. When your kids help you cook, it is a great time to talk and get to know them a little more.
Cooking with your children is an excellent way to incorporate math into your day. Your children can learn anything from geometry and fractions to temperature (Celsius and Fahrenheit). Have your kids measure the recipes for you and count how many of an item needs to go where.
When your children can follow a recipe, they are also building reading comprehension. They understand why ingredients are used and why. They learn to follow-step-by step instructions – a skill they will need throughout their life.
Chemistry anyone? You guessed it. Children can learn the most simple chemical concepts from mixing substances together.
Teaching your kids how to cook is important while they learn about different cultures. If you are doing a unit study on a particular geographical location, cooking those culture foods with kids make a great addition to your unit. While you are cooking Italian food, Spanish food, or Chinese, it would be awesome to give your kids a few facts about that area to broaden their knowledge of other cultures and lands.
Cooking with your kids will help them understand probability, observation, and predictions. Why didn’t the cookies rise and fall as they should have? What happens to the consistency of eggs after they are scrambled or butter when it’s melted?
If nothing else; we should equip our children with what they need to be productive adults. We want them to be able to live on their own and be OK. Life skills are arguably just as important as other core subjects like math and science.
There is no doubt that it’s essential to teach your kids how to cook. The question is, when will you start and what is on the menu?!
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!