Healthy Cooking - discussions of imaginative ways with food
Lessons Learned from Cooking as a Family
Cooking may be a chore for some, but if you add a twist to it, and involve other members of the family, it can put the whole endeavor into a different light and it can be less of a burden for mom and more fun for the kids.
Some mothers hesitate to involve children in the kitchen because they are afraid of it creating an even bigger mess to clean up. But by involving children, many valuable lessons can be taught without them even knowing it.
Healthy Eating Habits
If children are more involved with cooking and preparation of meals, they have a more up front chance to look and talk about different food groups.
You can try a new color vegetable a week or explain the difference between whole grain and white bread or lean cuts of meat and other varieties. You can experiment with cooking lighter versions of their favorite like using skim milk rather than whole milk and because they helped prepare it, they will never say that it doesn’t taste good.
Healthy Cooking and Cultural Sensitivity
You can also give a social studies lesson introducing different ethnicities by cooking foods from various parts of the world. If you experiment with cooking Chinese food one day and Mexican specialties the other, you can take it as an opportunity to talk about the geography of that country, and a little about their culture and traditions so that children start looking behind their own comfort zone and begin to accept people even if they look a little different than they do.
Math & Reading
You can sneak in a mini math lesson by letting your children help you measure ingredients. You can test their skills by asking them to half a recipe or double it to make two batches of brownies.
Children can practice their reading by reading out recipes aloud and then looking for those ingredients in the pantry or spice drawer.
You can even teach children about safety when cooking with them as you can explain what kinds of dishes can go in the microwave and what cannot. (Microwave ovens are becoming prevalent everywhere, but this webmaster is not convinced that they are as harmless as they appear.) You can also talk about turning pot handles inwards and always using oven mitts and other safety precautions.
Bonding via Healthy Cooking
Over and above all these lessons, you can use cooking as a family bonding experience and get the children's input at every stage, from menu planning, grocery shopping, sorting things in a pantry, preparing the meal, serving it – and helping clean up afterwards too!