Indian parents usually do not allow children to help or cook in the kitchen as they consider it might injure their child or dirty the kitchen. Researches have proved that children who can cook, understand nutrition science, empathy and social responsibilities better as compared to children who cannot cook.
Children helping in the kitchen or trying their hands-on recipes in the kitchen have far reaching effects on various aspects of their lives.
10 REASONS EVERY CHILD SHOULD LEARN TO COOK
- KNOWLEDGE OF FOOD
- Children understand locally available ingredients along with seasonal vegetables and fruits. While cooking they also get to know about regional tastes and cooking techniques making them more aware about regional cuisines.
- Children understand and learn to identify the difference between fresh and processed food increasing their awareness about healthy and unhealthy options.
- Children learn to understand ingredients used in packaged food products and learn about shelf life of food. This makes them aware about the addition of preservatives and chemical ingredients in the packaged food.
- TEND TO MAKE HEALTHIER CHOICES
- As children get to know about a variety of ingredients, taste and the texture of ingredients and food, they tend to make healthier choices. Children prefer to try more ingredients and reduce chances of them being picky eaters. This makes them nutritionally sound and reduces chances of falling sick or developing lifestyle disorders like obesity, diabetes or hypertension which are common these days primarily because of unhealthy food choices.
- COOKING IS AN IMPORTANT LIFE SKILL
- Cooking prepares children for future situations like staying at a hostel or any medical emergency at home as they can prepare healthy and fresh homemade food for themselves and also for others at home.
- FOOD AND EQUIPMENT HANDLING
- Children learn to handle food and cooking equipment. They learn to use, store and reuse resources.
- Children get to know waste disposal and understand social responsibility. This increases their awareness on keeping the environment clean and hygienic.
- PUTS BASIC MATHS, SCIENCE SKILLS TO PRACTICE
- Cooking teaches simple mathematics skills like counting, weighing, tracking time, formation etc. For eg. While making a simple dish like Khichdi, the count and amount of raw ingredients added, the time for which they are cooked makes a vital difference in the taste and the nutritive value of the dish.
- BUILD RELATIONSHIPS
- By cooking for the family, children learn to share the workload for mothers or elders at home. They become a vital helping hand when in need. They learn to serve food to others and understand the value of sharing and caring.
- SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCIPLINE
- Cooking helps to inculcate a feeling of responsibility in children as they learn to fulfil a very important primary need for living. Cooking inculcates self-discipline as the way a recipe is followed will affect the taste and flavour of the dish.
- STAYING ACTIVE
- Reduce screen time- Cooking makes children engage less in mobile games, laptops or television and make them more active
- Cooking is good physical activity – As per research, an individual weighing 60kg can burn an average of 150kcal in 1 hr of cooking.
- IMPROVES CREATIVITY
- Cooking is regarded as a versatile form of art which involves all the vital senses like eyes, nose, tongue, touch and ears too. Children can develop liking towards cooking as a hobby or as a promising career choice. Learning early in their life helps to develop creativity.
- BOOSTS SELF-CONFIDENCE
- Cooking develops a sense of self confidence and independence in children as they can take care of themselves and also someone in need of a prepared meal at home.
Thus we can see how important and vital cooking can prove to make a child eat healthy, stay healthy and contribute immensely to one’s overall development by adding to factors like empathy, care, responsibility towards family and environment. It also helps to make them ready for future emergencies and be a responsible member of the family.
So all the parents and adults, the next time your child asks to try some experimental dish in the kitchen do not stop him or her. Let them learn and have fun around different ingredients, flavors and tastes. Parents can make sure to take the basic precautions around objects like knives or gas stove and let your child emerge as a different personality altogether.
HappleyFit aims to help people attain a healthy lifestyle. Contrary to popular belief that fitness and lifestyle programs are more for adults, teaching children when they are young and inculcating these habits at an early age is key to a healthy lifestyle when they are adults.