by Sue Honkamp, Founder & Owner of Real Food 4 Kids
I recently asked parents and their kids two questions about cooking, as part of a research project for an entrepreneurial class I was taking through the University of Iowa. Across the board, their answers were remarkably similar and straightforward.
Why is it important for kids to learn how to cook?
It teaches them a life skill. It allows them to become more independent. It’s much more economical and will save money. I will eat healthier. I will be able to feed my future family decent meals. I don’t want to be unhealthy.
What do kids like about cooking?
It’s a way to show people you care about them. It allows you to be creative. You can add your own touch. It’s fun to experiment. You can taste your creations! It’s fun to watch ingredients turn into something new.
When people don’t know how to cook, they have to rely on take-out or restaurants. Yet, we know that people who cook at home eat healthier, enjoy their food more, and spend less money on food.
The Cooking Stats
Millennials are least apt to cook, compared to Gen X’ers and baby boomers, regardless of category or food type, according to a recent study from The Porch. Making eggs posed some of the biggest challenges for the millennials, and they were less likely to know how to roast chicken than the other groups. Plus, nearly 60% of millennials don’t know how to make a birthday cake from scratch, and 25% of millennials are also incapable of making a cake from a box.
I struggle to read these statistics. I strongly believe that teaching kids to cook will benefit them in numerous ways, both now and throughout the rest of their lives. Each of the responses I received from parents and kids rings true. And I want every kid to know how to make their family and friends a birthday cake from scratch.
Make the Most of Your Time at Home and Cook With Your Kids
Yes, we know that cooking with the kids can be stressful, messy, and take twice as long. It’s tough to make time to cook with your kids when you spend weeknights chauffeuring them to practice, squeezing in dinner, and making sure they have time to do their homework. The same typically goes for weekends, too. And sometimes, you just want to relax, right? But now, most of us have more time on our hands.
Like anything, cooking with your kids follows a learning curve, and it’s steepest in the beginning. But the outcome is absolutely worth it. Teaching your kids to cook will not only give them skills to last a lifetime, it will help you out in the short term, as well. Take advantage of the fact that your kids are literally home 24/7 and have them learn their way around the kitchen. We know that kids are more likely to eat something they make, so involve them as much as possible in the process.
The kids aren’t rushing off to school or trying to eat school lunch in a 15 minute window, so encourage them to make, or help make, their breakfast and lunch. Have them help prepare their own snack. Everyone in the house can pick a night to be in charge of dinner; select the menu, find the recipes, and have the kids help prepare it.
Real Food 4 Kids Online Cooking School
We also know that kids learn by watching and doing, so we’ve recently launched a free trial of Real Food 4 Kids Online Cooking School to make it easier to get your kids involved in the kitchen. We’ve selected kid-friendly recipes that your family will love. Our recipes can be downloaded and include ingredients, directions, equipment, and tips on how to include the kids. Each recipe has an accompanying video of a kid making the recipe. You can watch it at your own pace, and pause as needed to catch-up. Through the end of May, subscribe for free on our website: https://www.realfood4kids.com/online-cooking-school.
And when you’re finished cooking, don’t forget to have your kids help you clean up the mess!
Featured photo was provided by Real Food 4 Kids.