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5 Benefits of kids helping in the kitchen

Build skills, confidence and cooking prowess in your little ones by allowing them into the heart of the home.

Little hands and little minds in the kitchen may sound like a terrible idea but, on the contrary, letting them be your tiny sous chef when cooking, baking and sorting is a brilliant past-time for them – here’s why… 

1. They build math skills

‘I need 12 baby tomatoes, six sprigs of rosemary, four garlic cloves and a half a dozen eggs.’ Yes, those sound like the ingredients for a great frittata, but that’s beside the point. Having the kids in the kitchen is a great way to better their math skills, not only with counting, but measuring, reading temperatures, and familiarizing themselves with different terms and methods. Within no time they’ll be rattling off ounces versus grams, Fahrenheit versus Celsius, kilograms versus milliliters and so on.  

2. They get to be hands-on

Helping in the kitchen is great for developing fine motor skills and is also a more practical activity to do (screens, be gone). Whether it’s chopping, mixing, measuring, rolling out
or packing away, the hands-on nature of cooking and baking is great for fine-tuning children’s development.  

3. They learn life skills

Being able to prepare simple meals that are healthy and nutritious is an important life skill. By involving kids in meal-time prep, they learn how to make certain dishes and get to see what goes into their food. They’re also likely to be a lot less fussy about the macaroni and cheese when they help to make it! 

 4. They expand their palate

Allow your little ones to be a part of prep team that goes grocery shopping before handling the sharp knives and daunting ovens. To keep them intrigued, let them select a fruit or veg that they’ve never tried each time you do your shopping. Ask them to pick a different grain for every night of the week, or decide on something that you love and commit to making it from scratch – pizza, anyone? This expands their knowledge of different foods and hopefully also encourages them to try – and enjoy – new things.  

5. They get to bond with you

Working together in the kitchen is a sacred time to chat, have fun and to socialise with each other. You can each take turns to chat about your day, read out recipes together and divvy up the responsibilities. Or put some upbeat music on in the background and do a little jig together as you go about your culinary duties.  

Words by: Lynette Botha 

Photography: Pexels, Shutterstock

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