8 Ways Cooking Helps Children Learn Problem Solving
There is no human endeavor more common, useful, and enjoyable than cooking, all of which make it the perfect skill to teach children. As the old saying goes, give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day; teach him how to fish, and he’ll eat forever. Likewise, teach a child how to cook, and they’ll be able to both feed themselves and apply the skills they learn to other parts of their life. Sit your kids down in the kitchen, or stand them by the counter, to teach them how to ship up a meal or three. They’ll appreciate whatever you teach them in more ways than you can imagine. Here are eight ways cooking helps children learn problem-solving.
It Teaches Them How To Feed Themselves
Let’s begin with the most staggeringly obvious reason you should teach your kids how to cook: they’ll have to feed themselves (and potentially others) for the rest of their lives. After being served breakfast, lunch, and dinner for much of their young lives, they may come to think of meals as things that just appear on the table. They need to learn early on that if they want to eat, sometimes they’ll have to provide for themselves. Imparting a few basic culinary skills helps them whip up basic repasts when they’re hungry, even at an early age.
It Grants Confidence
Anyone can cook, but not everyone knows that. And when someone, especially a child, learns that cooking isn’t the big, mysterious, and purely adult activity it seems to be, they lose their fear of trying it themselves. This leads to feeling more confident, self-reliant, and independent, which can translate into losing their fear of tackling other issues with life. Confidence may not automatically impose knowledge and wisdom, but knowing they can handle cooking for themselves leaves your child open to exploring new experiences and handling whatever other challenges come their way.
Cooking Sharpens Eye-Hand Coordination and Motor Skills
Learning how to cook requires a combination of all five senses: taste, smell, sight, hearing, and touch. Mostly, it requires a lot of interplay between the eyes and hands, not least for safety’s sake. In preparing a meal, your kids will have to separate, chop, roll, flatten, break, scoop, measure, peel, mix, and so much more. That requires plenty of careful work and ensuring the hand isn’t quicker than the eye, and vice versa! Even the youngest of children can offer a hand, or rather both hands, and learn how to use their motor skills to the greatest effect, not just in cooking but also elsewhere.
Cooking Can Help Kids Scholastically
Here’s the fourth of our eight ways cooking helps children learn problem-solving. The simplest recipe can require knowledge gleaned from any number of fields. Mathematics, of course, in the measuring and dispensing of the various ingredients in their proper amounts. Science, especially chemistry, comes into play when making mixtures, setting temperature levels on the stove, or freezing and chilling items. Food from other countries can draw on one’s knowledge of history and social studies. And art can aid in creating a beautiful-looking dish or baked good and the way it’s presented on the table. In essence, cooking makes you think and maybe even a little smarter!
Cooking Builds a Better Relationship With Food and People
Every kid is a fussy eater to some degree. They don’t trust a food because it’s “different,” whether through taste, scent, appearance, or “just because.” However, when a child cooks their own meals, they develop a sort of “friendship” with the meal. They know what ingredients are in it and how much they put into it. They become familiar with it at every step of the cooking process, so it never seems strange to them. Also, they come to understand how many delicious and enjoyable flavors are out there for them to discover. In a way, you’re teaching them the importance of patience, acceptance, and not judging a book by its cover, which they can carry into their interactions with other people.
Cooking Makes Nutrition Important to Them
Taste is a motivating factor in cooking—leading to your little one wanting to make dozens of cookie, cake, and pie recipes. But that’s a good thing too because you can show how nutritious meals don’t have to be bland. If your little chefs are reluctant to eat their fruits and veggies and cut down on sugary snacks, cooking can show them how excitingly mouthwatering a carrot, asparagus, or artichoke can be. You can even sneak in a little information on why such things are good for them. That’s important because problem-solving comes more easily to someone who’s happy, healthy, and packed with vim, vigor, and vitamins!
The EC in Home EC Stands for “Economics”
While the term is rarely used in high school anymore, home economics was a program of study that explored consumer and family science and how to maintain a healthy and financially stable home. Part of home EC involved cooking, but it also covered budgeting, buying groceries, and similar aspects of running a household. Kids still need to understand the connection between living within your means and getting the most out of a paycheck. That carries over to cooking, where you learn how to buy ingredients and why the food you prepare yourself is healthier, cheaper, and more satisfying than the food you get from a package or through a drive-through window. When they move out, you want your kids to know how to feed themselves good food and how to do it without going broke.
Cooking With Your Kids Builds Trust
If you want your kids to be able to solve any problem, let them know that you’re a resource they can trust. Cooking together builds better relationships with your kids, lets you impart wisdom to them, and fills their heads with happy memories. Kids who feel safe and know they have you backing them up will have the confidence to deal with whatever problems they encounter in the future.
We offer numerous virtual cooking classes for families. We have many fun recipes you can create together with your kids, and teleconferencing brings our cooking courses to your kitchen. We provide the instruction and the ingredients! Contact us for more information on our virtual cooking classes for families.
Virtual Cooking Classes
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Staying Safe and Healthy
- You are responsible for: (i) informing SMCo if you have any medical and/or food allergies; and (ii) avoiding any contact with such medical and/or food allergies. SMCo may attempt, but cannot guarantee, to accommodate your allergies. It is your responsibility to prevent allergic reactions.
- You should be dressed comfortably but with safety in mind. Flip-flops and open-toed shoes are not permitted in the kitchen. Do not wear loose clothing that could get caught in machinery or equipment. Jewelry should not be worn. You should wear hair clips or bands for long hair.
Children under 17 years of age are not permitted to be present in adult classes. However, children between the ages of 8 and 16 years may participate in TFK’s 1-hour bread class with an adult, or in our children and teen classes.
Consent Form, Assumption of Risk, Waiver and Release
The class or classes I am registering to take with SMCo are for the purpose of learning to cook, which involves preparing and cooking food. Like all cooking activities, certain risks and dangers arise, not all of which can be described herein, but may include, without limitation, cuts, scrapes, scratches, puncture wounds, thermal burns, chemical burns, scalds, injuries from using cooking equipment and instruments, eye injuries or irritation, skin irritations, allergic reactions, food poisoning, slips, falls, and choking. I have read the aforementioned risks and I am familiar with the nature of the classes and activities involved in the cooking classes. I understand and appreciate the inherent risks and the types of injuries that may occur as a result of my participation. I assert that my participation in SMCo’s classes or activities is voluntary and I knowingly assume all risks associated therewith.
I understand that I am ultimately responsible for maintaining the quality of the food I prepare, cook and eat during any class or after any class. I alone am responsible for protecting myself against allergic reactions pertaining to food.
Further, in consideration of my ability to participate in a class or activity, I do hereby waive, release, indemnify and shall hold harmless SMCo and its owners, members, managers, officers, directors, chefs, employees, attorneys, agents, and assigns (collectively, the “Released Parties”), from and against any and all demands, claims, losses, injury, damages, liability, attorney fees, costs, and/or expenses of litigation, in law or in equity, whether known or unknown, that have arisen or may arise from my participation in or attendance at any classes or activities provided by SMCo, or from my use of any recipe, skill, technique, or method learned from SMCo or in any of SMCo classes or activities . Further, I promise not to sue any of the Released Parties for such demands, claims, or liability.
At the end of the course, recipes will be given to participants for the food items produced. SMCo hopes you will use these recipes for personal use. However, these recipes are and remain the intellectual property of SMCo.
You may not use SMCo recipes for any commercial use. SMCo reserves the right to take judicial action to prevent any unauthorized use of SMCo recipes.
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