11 Reasons You Should Cook with Kids

Mother cooking with her daughter.

We believe that time spent with kids is invaluable.  At any age, our children learn a variety of life skills through family interactions and activities.  Studies show that the time parents spend with their children has a positive impact on their educational success.  Need more reasons not to rush your children out of the kitchen the next time you start dinner?

Ten Reasons to Cook with Your Kids:

  1. Cooking with Kids Fosters Togetherness

Families who cook together stay together.  It is widely known that kids who spend mealtime with their families are less likely to engage in harmful behavior, including drugs and alcohol.  Cooking and eating together is one of the most communal activities in cultures all over the world.  Having kids’ recipes on hand and keeping children in the kitchen is an age-old tradition that will create memories that will last long after the kids have left the house.


  1. Cooking with Kids Builds Teamwork

By engaging the children in the kitchen with their own tasks, a parent teaches invaluable teamwork skills.  No matter the age, a child can be given a task that contributes to the overall meal.  Even the smallest of helpers can dump pre-measured ingredients into a bowl or, simpler still, hand the ingredients to an older sibling or parent.  Age-appropriate kids’ recipes allow each child to be engaged and part of the team.


  1. Children in the Kitchen become Self-Sufficient

A child that participates in meal preparation is preparing more than something to eat – they are preparing to be self-sufficient.  As children age, they naturally become less dependent on their parents for basic life needs and develop skills to be self-sufficient.  Age-appropriate tasks such as washing fruits and veggies or making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich go a long way in teaching children that they can take care of themselves. Eventually, they’ll be able to make kids’ recipes solo and feed themselves.

Little girl cooking in a kitchen.

  1. Cooking with Kids Develops Communication Skills

Communication is the foundation of our relationships with others.  The give-and-take of conversation while preparing a meal and enjoying it together teaches valuable skills, including listening, talking in turn, and manners.  While making kids’ recipes, children can learn how to express frustration and offer and accept encouragement appropriately.


  1. Children in the Kitchen Learn Time Management

As our children age and kids’ recipes become more complicated, they learn the art of time management and sequence.  If they are preparing multiple items, they use more complex problem-solving skills to determine the order in which items should be prepared to achieve the best result.  Time management in the kitchen is a skill many adults wished they had learned while they were children in the kitchen!


  1. Kids Develop Shopping Skills When They Help with Meals

Helping our children understand how food arrives in our kitchen can be a significant opportunity to learn.  Allowing our kids to help us in the grocery store as they read through their kids’ recipes and find the items needed gives them skills to continue towards independence.  For older kids, the step of understanding the cost of each item can be an additional lesson in budgeting.

Challenge your kids to plan for these easy kids’ recipes and help with shopping:

  • Guacamole
  • Scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
  • English muffin pizzas


  1. Successful Kids’ Recipes Teach Self-esteem

We want our kids to experience positive situations to build their self-esteem.  When we cook with our kids, we teach them they are in a safe place to make mistakes, and we can work together to fix them.  Cooking errors may be the least concerning errors made in life, but they still teach kids how to share that they made a mistake and move forward.  What an essential lesson for life!  To know that our family is there for us no matter what is a great foundation to build with our children in the kitchen.


  1. We Teach Our Children Cooking is a Gift to Others

Nurturing others is a basic human instinct.  When we cook for someone else, we are communicating more than just a desire to feed them.  We are offering the gift of nourishment, comfort, and hospitality.  When we spend time with our children in the kitchen, we show them love and encouragement, filling more than their bellies.  Cooking with our kids is an experience that extends into their friendships and future families.  Memories created with parents and grandparents in the kitchen and around the dinner table are often fondly recounted year after year. They remind our children that time together in the kitchen is a gift.

Dad teaching his kids to cook.

  1. Kids in the Kitchen Learn About Nutrition

Numerous studies support that families who cook and dine together often have more nutritious meals.  That seems to make sense; if we aren’t eating as a family, we are most likely taking the kids through the closest drive-thru to save time before the next activity.  Cooking together allows us to be mindful of the ingredients and often results in healthier choices.  Mindfulness extends beyond kids’ recipes for full meals.

Our favorite healthy snacks can be fun to prepare together, too:

  • Fruit skewers
  • Yogurt parfaits
  • Trail Mix/Chex Mix


  1. Finding Kid’s Recipes Online Can Be Productive Screen Time

Kids enjoy spending time on their devices.  Whether it is chatting with friends or gaming, they can become absorbed in other worlds for hours, if allowed.  Re-direct some of that time and energy on finding kid’s recipes, and your kids will be sharpening their research skills without even knowing it!


  1. Cooking with Kids Could Uncover a Budding Famous Chef

A remarkable outcome of spending time with our children is learning what they are passionate about.  What if you have a budding Guy Fieri or Rachel Ray in your kitchen?  Nurturing their passion can be a defining connector in your relationship.  You can encourage their interest in cooking while secretly rehearsing your interviews with all the Food Network greats, where you’ll claim responsibility for his or her success, of course!


Why shouldn’t you take a little credit for your child’s success?  When they were young, you understood that time in the kitchen making kids’ recipes as a family would make all the difference in their development and future endeavors.  We encourage innovative and thought-forward parenting.  From preschool to pre-teen, we know that each child has hidden talent waiting to be discovered.  You can reach out anytime with questions about how we nurture the talent in your children!