Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Cook With Your Kids!

We do A LOT of cooking in our house and Ayden has been a side kick in the kitchen since he was probably 4 mo the old. We'd get him set up in his Bumbo or bouncer and give him bell peppers or mesh feeders full of goodies to taste and gnaw on. When we moved in with my parents, we stared using a dining chair with arms and he'd stand right up next to us while we prepped and cooked meals. 

He has his own kid knives and knows where to find cutting boards. Today, he walked up to me like this:

He had found his little Gerber knife in the open dishwasher and helped himself to our biggest cutting board. He was ready to chop!  I set him up on his Little Helper tower that David built for him and set him up with some snap peas and he proceeded to "chop" and snack away.  He was occupied with that for probably 20 or 30 minutes. 

I took pictures of the whole process of building the tower and plan to dedicate a post to it soon. He loves it so much!  If we are in the kitchen, he begs for us to pull it over to the island so he can get in on the action. 

With how important food is to our family, we absolutely love that he shows so much interest in it. This Web MD article talks about all of the benefits of cooking with kids and I believe every word!  

As a teacher, we would incorporate cooking activities into our lesson plans. They would cover literacy (reading a recipe), math (measuring/counting), all 5 senses and even sometimes writing if we had them write about the experience afterward. That's not to mention all of the listening/communication skills that are practiced when you do anything as a team.  Those lessons were, by far, the most memorable for my students.  It might be messy and may make things take a little longer but the benefits to cooking with your kids far outweigh the risks!  

Do your kids like to cook with you?  If they do, what "job" do they get to have?


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  1. I love cooking with my son. And the younger one I starting to be stable enough for the bumbo and has joined in once or twice. My oldest calls his Little Helper his "'tool" instead I stool and he will tell me he wants to "make" instead of bake. Ha! It's one of my favorite ways to bond with him and teach him in a very fun way. Cooking is definitely a valuable way to spend time with your kids.

    1. Aww so cute! I can't wait to hear Ayden saying such sweet things. Why can't they stay little forever?!?

  2. I've always wondered if you have thought about homeschooling Ayden? You would be such a good homeschooler!

    1. Thank you so much! We consider it every now and then but our current plan is for him to attend public school. I will do a lot of teaching between now and Kindergarten though!

  3. I LOVE the idea of having my toddler help in the kitchen. Between you and Jeni (Candid Mommy) I can see many of the benefits. But my 14 month old is very high energy and also very curious and the mix to me would make having him help me in the kitchen overwhelming I imagine. I know he would learn to concentrate on the task at hand but I don't know if the process getting there would drive me crazy. I imagine him trying to grab a knife from me or climbing on the counter. I do plan to get him involved as soon as I think he's ready. I just finished the book "Bringing Up Bebe" (interesting but not my parenting philospohy) and it described a "yogurt cake" that doesn't contain yogurt but rather using empty yogurt cups as measuring cups for toddlers. It inspired me to get him involved as soon as I think he can handle it. Wouldn't a toddler baking be the cutest thing ever?!

    1. That would be so cute! Instead of helping you during meal preparations, you can do "cooking" activities specifically for him. Making home made play-doh, crock pot apple sauce, fruit juice popsicles. Anything that he can help you measure/stir/pour/etc. counts. That way it will be a little less stressful since you don't have to multi task and can focus on him and the task at hand. Perhaps start with those kinds of activities and work up to meals as he learns the rules of being a kitchen helper.