Getting Junior into the Kitchen
Involving your child at any age with the ritual of family meal preparation is an exercise in pattern recognition, food choices, smart shopping and nutritional awareness. With the whole family being together at meals, the parent has more control over a balanced menu. It enables the parental function of being a role model for healthy menu creation.
It is common knowledge that youngsters -- who consistently experience this type of setting -- get used to discussing the day’s events. As a time of bonding and debriefing, this opportunity now also provides a backdrop for a much-needed learning experience.
More importantly, did you know that a child will be more likely to continue to eat vegetables, fruits, grains and a variety of healthy foods, if the youngster was involved in cooking the meal? Business Week outlined that tasting sessions and cooking classes are just some of the avenues that savvy parents may choose when trying to instill a love of all things green and healthy into their children. For younger kids, “involving children in food preparation helps them learn the names and colors of foods and helps develop their hand-eye coordination."
Getting junior into the kitchen early on has the potential of lessening the danger that the child will reach for the wrong foods when in search of a snack -- plus there is also the benefit of not getting into trouble in later years, if cooking and family meal times are being used to bond as a family unit.