Here’s Why You Should Teach Your Kids To Cook

Jan 4, 2024

tips for teaching kids to cook

The kitchen is a place where ingredients come together to create something wonderful. For parents, introducing your kids to the world of cooking isn’t just passing down practical culinary skills—it’s a time for bonding, creating memories and instilling a sense of confidence and creativity in your little ones.

There’s a unique kind of joy that comes from cooking with your kids. It’s not just about the end result—the delicious dish—it’s also about the process. It’s in the laughter when flour dusts the kitchen, the pride in their eyes when they crack an egg perfectly and the stories shared while stirring a pot.

In this article, discover the numerous benefits of teaching kids to cook and gain practical tips for creating a positive and seamless cooking experience for both you and your young chefs.

Hungry for more? Bring your kids to one of our Online Cooking Classes! From homemade breads and macrons to globally inspired feasts, you’ll get expert instruction right from the comfort of your home.

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Benefits of Teaching Kids to Cook

Teaching kids to cook offers a variety of benefits that extend far beyond the kitchen.

For example, baking cookies is an opportunity to teach children about measurements and chemical reactions, like how baking soda makes the dough rise. Preparing a simple salad introduces them to different vegetables and the concept of eating a rainbow for good health.

Cooking also opens doors to learning about different cultures. Preparing a dish from another country can lead to discussions about the people, traditions and history of that place. This culinary exploration makes mealtime both educational and exciting.

Ultimately, cooking turns your kitchen into a lively classroom where every ingredient has a story and every method a lesson. It equips kids with practical skills, enhances their academic abilities, promotes physical and emotional well-being, and strengthens familial and social bonds.

Here are some of the key advantages:

  1. Cultivating life skills: Cooking is a fundamental life skill. It teaches children how to prepare meals for themselves, an essential aspect of becoming self-reliant and independent. As they learn to cook, they also learn to plan meals, shop for ingredients, manage time and clean up after themselves.
  2. Enhancing academic skills: Cooking involves reading recipes, measuring ingredients and understanding time, which naturally enhances reading, math and time management skills. It also introduces basic scientific concepts, like chemical reactions in baking or how heat changes food.
  3. Promoting healthy eating habits: When children are involved in cooking, they’re more likely to eat what they’ve prepared, including a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. This involvement can lead to healthier eating habits and a better understanding of nutrition.
  4. Boosting confidence and creativity: Successfully preparing a meal can be a significant confidence booster for kids. Cooking also allows them to express their creativity, whether it’s decorating a cake, experimenting with different ingredients or plating a dish in a unique way.
  5. Improving fine motor skills: Cooking involves a range of movements that can enhance fine motor skills. Chopping, mixing, kneading and pouring all require different types of hand-eye coordination and dexterity.
  6. Teaching responsibility and patience: Cooking requires responsibility, especially when dealing with hot surfaces, sharp tools and important recipe directions. It also teaches patience, as some dishes take time to prepare and cook.
  7. Developing a sense of accomplishment: Completing a cooking task from start to finish gives children a sense of accomplishment. This achievement can positively impact their self-esteem and willingness to take on new challenges.
  8. Encouraging cultural exploration and openness: Cooking is a wonderful way to explore different cultures through food. Preparing dishes from various parts of the world can foster an appreciation and curiosity for different traditions and tastes.
  9. Creating quality family time: Cooking together is an excellent way for families to bond. It provides an opportunity for meaningful conversations, shared experiences and the creation of lasting memories.

Preparing to Cook with Your Kids

Before you tie those apron strings and dive into the world of cooking, a bit of preparation is key to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for both you and your little sous-chefs. Here’s a few tips to get started:

Establish Safety Rules

Safety in the kitchen is non-negotiable, especially with young chefs around. Start by teaching them the basics: wash your hands before cooking, tie back long hair and never touch knives or hot surfaces without adult supervision.

Demonstrate how to use kitchen equipment correctly and be there for support, especially when they’re handling something new. Remember, instilling good habits early on is key to a lifetime of safe cooking.

Create a kid-friendly kitchen

Create a kid-friendly kitchen space where they can reach countertops safely or use tools designed for smaller hands.

These include plastic knives that can cut fruits and vegetables but are safe for little hands, colorful measuring cups and spoons and easy-to-grip mixing tools. Having their own set of utensils makes kids feel more involved and responsible.

Kids are naturally messy, so consider using surfaces that are easy to clean. Placemats or cutting boards can help protect countertops, and washable kitchen linens are a great choice for cleaning up spills.

Start with Fun and Easy Recipes

Kickstart your culinary journey with simple, easy recipes for children.

Pancakes, for example, are a great way to start. They’re easy, require few ingredients and kids can enjoy flipping them (with supervision, of course). Fruit kebabs are another excellent choice, allowing children to play with colors and patterns while also learning about different fruits.

Another hit is homemade pizza, where kids can knead the dough and choose their toppings. This not only makes them excited about what they’re eating, but also gives them control over their meal, which can be very empowering.

Nurture Healthy Eating Habits

Involving kids in cooking is a powerful way to develop healthy eating habits. When children take part in preparing their meals, they’re more likely to eat what they’ve made—even if it includes ingredients they usually avoid.

Use cooking as an opportunity to introduce new foods in a fun way.

For instance, let them help make a vegetable stir-fry, encouraging them to choose some of the veggies. This exposure in a positive, hands-on setting can turn picky eaters into food explorers.

Tips for Creating a Great Cooking Experience with Kids

Creating an enjoyable and educational cooking experience for kids is an art in itself. Here are some tips to ensure that time spent in the kitchen is fun, safe and rewarding for both you and your little chefs:

  • Embrace the mess: Cooking with kids can be messy, and that’s okay. Set aside worries about spills and splatters. Cover the workspace with easy-to-clean materials and have aprons ready. Remember, it’s all part of the fun and learning process.
  • Keep it simple and fun: Start with simple recipes that have fewer steps and ingredients. Dishes that allow for hands-on activities, like kneading dough or decorating cookies, are especially engaging. The key is to choose recipes that align with their age and skill level to avoid frustration.
  • Involve them in the entire process: Let children be a part of everything—from choosing the recipe to shopping for ingredients and the actual cooking. This full involvement gives them a sense of ownership and makes the meal more exciting.
  • Teach as you go: Use the time in the kitchen as an opportunity for mini lessons. Explain why eggs are used as a binding ingredient or why vegetables are cut a certain way. This educational aspect turns cooking into a more enriching experience.
  • Practice patience: We know, we know—this is easier said than done. Just remember that things might not always go as planned and dishes might not turn out perfect, but that’s perfectly fine. Cooking with kids is more about the journey than the destination. Be patient and offer plenty of encouragement.
  • Safety first: Always supervise and guide them, especially when using sharp tools or working near hot surfaces. Teaching them about kitchen safety early on is crucial.
  • Customize the experience: Tailor the cooking experience to your child’s interests. If they love a particular cartoon character, try making a dish inspired by that character. If they’re curious about their heritage, cook a traditional family recipe.
  • Celebrate their efforts: Regardless of how the dish turns out, celebrate their effort and involvement. Take pictures, share the dish with family members and let them tell everyone about their cooking adventure. This recognition boosts their confidence and enthusiasm.
  • Schedule regular cooking sessions: Make cooking a regular part of your routine. This consistency will help them build and improve their cooking skills over time.
  • Foster a positive environment: Keep the mood light and positive. Play their favorite music in the background, dance around a little and make sure to laugh. The goal is to associate cooking with happiness and positivity.


Hungry for more? Bring your kids to one of our Online Cooking Classes! From homemade breads and macrons to globally inspired feasts, you’ll get expert instruction right from the comfort of your home.

Sign Up For Our Online Cooking Classes

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