Cooking—a basic life skill – can be helpful for future health and wellness when taught as young as possible. A familiarity with the kitchen leads to lifelong talents that will be practiced at least 3 times a day! As a partner of the Together Counts™ program for healthy, active living, we want to share five reasons why you should get your child of any age involved in cooking to encourage a healthy lifestyle.
1. You eat what you make.
When kids help assemble the meal they are much more likely to actually try what they are making. This creates an interest in new foods and flavors that may not have been discovered otherwise. Putting kids in charge of something like washing the fruit or picking out the vegetable can be a cure for seriously picky eaters.
2. You become more aware of healthier options.
Some kids come home from school and immediately run into the pantry to see what they can eat. When kids are comfortable with the kitchen, they may fix themselves an omelet or cut up some fruit and vegetables to snack on. Knowledge is power, especially for younger ages.
3. Opens the door for healthy eating discussion.
Sizzling up a balanced meal is the perfect opportunity to open the discussion on healthy and active lifestyle tips. Talking about how food affects our bodies is easier when you are simultaneously putting the tips into action.
4. Grab a slice of confidence!
Cooking is a skill that is mastered with time and practice. As kids see their skills develop and improve, they will thrive on that momentum. It is rewarding to witness their sense of accomplishment with each dish prepared.
5. Cooking up quality time.
Overall, cooking is a great way to bond as a family. Get everyone involved in a special meal and then gather around the table to enjoy it. There is a place for everyone in the kitchen – even on cleanup duty!
Written by Gloria Westlake, Registered Dietitian
Established in 1968, Camp Shane is the premiere and longest running weight loss camps for girls, boys, teenagers & young adults. They encourage and teach their campers that leading a healthy lifestyle and losing weight can still be fun! To learn more visit www.campshane.com.
For more ideas on how to incorporate cooking into your child’s life, check out these reads from Together Counts:
- 3 Ways to Get Your Family Cooking for Life in 2017
- Cooking and Eating Together – A Recipe to Strengthen Your Family
- 10 Tips to Get Kids Cooking in the Kitchen