As a father of three, I understand how difficult it can be to try to put dinner together in a timely and organized manner. While one child is asking “how long” or “can I help with the chopping”, another may be crying at your feet (literally), and one is playing with the knives in the drawer and chemicals under the sink. This is a no exaggeration account of my experience most of the time attempting to get dinner ready. It can be more stressful than a Saturday Night’s service on the grill. Its enough to make me want every night to be “pizza night”. In my professional life I work in the brightest, shiniest, and best equipped kitchens with other professionals (and the occasional shit heads). At home I don’t have the same space or resources. One kid doesn’t like rice, one can’t have gluten, and one won’t eat anything. My doctor gives me all these dietary guidelines for my children as well as a list of “allergies”. All these things lead to frustration, and are never what we expect when we see those beautiful “Family Cookbooks”, you know the ones with pictures of the mom and dad making killer pastries, the children shelling beans like classically trained line cooks, and everyone is laughing. However, I realize that my kids are only gathering into the kitchen because, like all kids, they are curious and want to get involved. So I make it a point, when given the time, to get the whole gang in the mix. Worse case if its a disaster I can always order a pizza. So here are 5 reasons why you should be cooking with your kids:
1.) Cooking and preparing their own food will make them less picky. If they make it there is a greater chance they will WANT to try it
2.) Cooking gives them confidence. There are a million things to be learned in a kitchen. With each new lesson learned a victory is had.
3.) Cooking will give them independence. Cooking is a essential skill everyone needs in life (at least in my opinion) so start teaching them when there are young. By the time they are teenagers they know that food doesn’t just magically appear on the table!
4.) Cooking is a multi-sensoral learning experience. Working through recipes gives kids a real world application of math and science. They can get the right brain involved by tweaking and creating recipes.
5.) Cooking brings you together. BY far the most important reason you should be cooking with your kids is because its 45 more minutes you will never have back that you could have created a life long memory with.
Remember you don’t have to cook every meal together (that would be madness). I know how important alone time with a bottle of wine in the kitchen is. But listen, try it once a month then once a week. You’ll be glad you did. Maybe one day you can scream from the “couch how long for dinner?!?!?”