Top 10 Benefits of Cooking With Kids - Guide to Greater Tampa Bay

Top 10 Benefits of Cooking With Kids

Measure one cup of milk, beat two eggs and sift in a cup of flour—skills learned in the kitchen help children develop tools for everyday life.

By T. Michele Walker

The ability to cook is something every person needs to be an independent, healthy adult. Once a child has mastered the art of cooking, they are one step closer to being prepared for daily life. And think of the money saved by eating at home and avoiding the drive-through.

At Sweetwater Organic Community Farm, children not only learn to cook, but learn how their food is grown.

“We’re trying to get children connected to where their food is coming from, directly from the farm,” said Chris Kenrick, director of the non-profit farm. “Last Sunday we did a cheese making class, before that we held a pizza making class with a wood fire oven and we are planning a vegan sushi making class.”

Here are some of the benefits children gain from learning how to cook:

1.     Teaches Life Skills

From the earliest age, a child can begin by creating their own sandwich. As a child gets older, learning to properly use the microwave, oven and stovetop are important in terms of safety. Older children can make dinner once a week, helping them to become independent and responsible.

2. Develop Fine Motor Skills

There is no reason to wait until the teen years to teach children to cook. There is a job in the kitchen at every stage of development. Mixing ingredients, using cookie cutters, cracking an egg –– these are all excellent activities for fine motor development. And try not to worry about the mess! If they crack an egg and it falls on the floor, keep cool and clean it up together.

3. Promotes Healthy Eating

Besides saving money by avoiding fast food, meals cooked at home are healthier. Children learn to make informed food choices when learning to cook. As for picky eaters, experts say that when children take part in cooking their own meals, it expands their palate.

4. Boosts Self-Confidence

Making a meal is a confidence booster, leading to an increase in self-esteem not only in the kitchen, but in all areas of life.

5. Helps Children Learn Scientific Concepts

Cooking is chemistry. Cooking changes the composition of foods through the use of heat, cold and cutting. Slicing an apple sets off a chemical reaction that eventually changes the color of the fruit.

6. Improves Reading Comprehension

Have children read the recipe while preparing to cook. Early readers can begin with numbers and older children can read the steps and follow directions, which enhances reading comprehension.

7. Develops Math Skills

From measuring to fractions, cooking uses basic math skills and is a yummy way to teach addition and subtraction. Any math teacher will say that cooking is a terrific learning tool.

8. Explores Their Creativity

Allowing kids to show their individuality by adding their own special ingredients allows them to express their creativity.

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9. Encourages Family Bonding

Creating a cooking routine brings families together, providing important bonding moments. Children experience so much joy when they are allowed to help prepare dinner with their parents. These are precious memories that will last a lifetime.

10. Teaches Children Where Food Comes From

When asked where food comes from, most children will likely answer the grocery store. When working with food, children learn the origins of each ingredient. Spaghetti sauce comes from tomatoes, which come from a farm.

“Children are learning where their food is coming from,” said Kenrick. “They get to know the actual farmer and source of their food.”

Sweetwater Organic Community Farm provides cooking classes for all ages.

For information on Sweetwater Organic Community Farm, visit

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