The kitchen is a space of curiosity, expansion, and wonder for young children. It provides them with authentic opportunities to better understand and apply their knowledge after countless hours of watching you effortlessly dance around the kitchen and produce meals from single ingredients. There are many empowering, age appropriate roles that children can embody in the kitchen. They can assist with meal planning, grocery shopping, produce rinsing, recipe reading, table setting, and/or being your right-hand sous chef. Each role helps develop their cognitive, socio-emotional, and physical capacities in various forms.
Regular exposure to food preparation and cooking provides children with a better understanding of nutrition and increases the likelihood of consuming the final product… a sometimes challenging experience with young children in light of personal food phobias. When you build confidence around food preparation, it encourages them to be curious of the food they helped prepare. For the chefs in making, it requires them to organize ingredients, follow a sequence, and carry out multiple directions at one time. It can be a daunting task to invite children into the kitchen. Especially young children. Young children are often unconcerned about the state of a kitchen floor and their coordination may propel ingredients towards less than ideal locations. For contemporary life schedules, this can be overwhelming. But it can also be equal parts magical.
Chopping, squeezing, spreading, and mixing are skills that help children develop small muscle control and hand-eye coordination. Being involved in the process, in some capacity, provides them with the opportunity to observe and apply their knowledge. It is also a perfect time to relate cooking with mathematics, science, literacy, and so forth. In the early years, allowing them to merely observe or hold a spatula is equal parts as wonderous in their eyes.
We invite you to see these opportunities as periods of tremendous growth. Honour your family schedule and extend the invitation on your own accord.
Sign up for our monthly newsletter to stay up to date on health and wellness news and advice.
Disclaimer: Information contained in this blog post is for educational and general purposes only and is designed to assist you in making informed decisions about your health. Any information contained herein is not intended to substitute advice from your doctor or other healthcare professional.