1/31/2022 0 Comments
Life can be hectic (especially as parent) and there are many instances when sometimes you need to quickly throw together a meal and your child’s help (or lack thereof) is the last thing you want. I personally need to do this quite often but I really relish the times when I do not need to rush and Katie and I can bake or cook something together.
I have been cooking with Katie since she was able to be in her kitchen helper stand. It started with her tossing ingredients I had pre-measured and set aside into the bowl and now at the age of 5 I am teaching her how to plan, measure and cut certain fruits and vegetables!
There are many benefits to cooking and baking with your children, here are my top 4.
1. Connection and Bonding – after a busy week it is really nice to spend some uninterrupted screen free time together creating a meal or baking treats for us to share. I get to witness her confidence as she becomes more capable in her cooking skills which give me an opportunity to praise her in a meaningful genuine way. One thing we like to do in our home is I’ll pull out a recipe book and ask Katie to choose something for us to make together. We plan the day we are going to make it and I will grab the ingredients we need when I get groceries that week. There is always such a huge sense if pride when she not only chooses what we are eating but she also helps me make it.
2. Teaches Planning and Sequencing – although some meals can be put together haphazardly (those can be a lot of fun) many meals and baking are best prepared in a specific order so they turn out just right. Children learn through cooking to follow directions, to plan and prepare and to do things in a specific order. This is a wonderful skill to practice in the early years in a safe and encouraging environment and it will set them up for success later in life.
3. Math Skills – Even your youngest chef can begin to learn early math skills when cooking. You can count how many eggs you need or how many pieces you had to cut something into. Measuring starts introducing fractions even before they fully understand what a fraction is!! When I used to work at the hospital I baked with the children once a week and I would often not set out measuring cups that I knew we needed in order for the children to try and figure out how use what we had to get the amount we needed. For example not supplying them with a full or half cup measuring cup but only a quarter and third. Granted I would not do this with preschool age children but you get the idea of how you can incorporate math skills for any age you are cooking with.
4. Works on Fine and Gross Motor Skills – The precision of cracking an egg or the larger motion of mashing the bananas for banana bread all works the muscles necessary for printing, throwing and catching etc. and although it is great to actually practice these skills it is nice to do something a little different that also works those muscles.
There are many more reasons to cook or bake with your children including the fact that you can enjoy what you made together once it is finished, those are just my top 4. I encourage you to plan something you can make with your child this week, if you are looking for an idea our favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe is below and make sure to check out our YouTube video of us making them as well!!
Katie’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
1. Preheat the oven to 375 Fahrenheit
2. With a hand blender or stand mixer, cream together the sugar and butter in a large bowl
3. Add the eggs and vanilla, mix well
4. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and whisk to mix.
5. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet until combined.
6. Add chocolate chips and mix well with a spoon to incorporate them into the batter
7. Spoon cookie dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet. We usually use a heaping teaspoon to measure out our cookies.
8. Bake for 9-11 minutes
Allow to cool slightly before removing from the pan and ENJOY!!