Why Is It Good for Children to Learn How to Cook?

There's no excuse for kids not to learn how to cook any more. Bear in mind that by being actively involved preparing the dishes, they won't only eat more healthily, but will also be encouraged to try new foods.
Why Is It Good for Children to Learn How to Cook?
Silvia Zaragoza

Written and verified by the nutritionist Silvia Zaragoza.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

The interest in cooking has grown considerably in the last 6 or 7 years. Several TV programs have appeared where famous chefs prepare a variety of recipes. There are even shows on TV for adults and children to learn how to cook.

Educational programs for children to learn how to cook

Cooking is a subject that isn’t really taught any more in schools around the world. Although it’s something we do every day, no one has really taught us – we sort of do it by instinct a lot of the time. In addition to this, there are so many ready meals and fast food that this often stops us from making healthy choices.

For this reason, several foundations, companies and institutions are starting to give practical workshops so that children can acquire basic notions about cooking, and make more healthy food choices. There have been positive results from this, especially in relation to health.

An increased consumption of fruits and vegetables

This is undoubtedly one of the greatest difficulties when it comes to feeding our children. The fact that many children hate vegetables has become so common that, as parents, we often tend to force them to eat. The end result here is that they’ll often reject the food even more.

If children start to get involved in growing vegetables, handling the food, and making recipes, then we’ll often be able to awaken an interest in trying more fruits and vegetables. As a result, their fiber intake will increase considerably.

Why Is It Good for Children to Learn How to Cook?

Less reluctance to try new foods

Food neophobia can appear when introducing a baby to food after exclusive breastfeeding. However, it usually disappears after 2 or 3 years. Children are usually guided by the sensations that the food produces when they touch it and feel it in their mouths, as well as by the behavior of their friends or parents. For this reason, it’s best to carry out these activities in groups, as children learn by imitation.

In addition to this, if we present the food to them in an attractive way, then their predisposition to eat new foods is also likely to increase. It’s all about giving the children positive eating and cooking experiences.

Improves children’s health

When children eat healthier food, then, naturally, they’ll also become healthier. Children who are overweight or obese can start to lose weight, and blood pressure can decrease. It even helps to prevent the onset of other diseases such as type 2 diabetes.

Less ready meals and eating out

As a result of their preference for healthy dishes, you should be able to reduce the number of times you eat out in restaurants, especially fast-food restaurants. In addition to this, cooking will become part of the family’s daily activities, as our children will now be keen to participate actively.

Going shopping

Why not ask them what they’d like to eat? Or explain to them some interesting facts about food every time they come shopping with you. We’re sure that you can get them to think about where they come from or why they have certain colors. You can even play a game to see if they can guess what the food is.

Why Is It Good for Children to Learn How to Cook?

Ask them to be your kitchen helper

Every weekend they can be your kitchen assistant. You can get them to wash, peel, mix the ingredients, season the dish, or even make it. From the age of 10 or 12 you can ask them to cut the fruit, vegetables or meat. In this way, you’ll enhance their autonomy and creativity.

Sign them up for cooking classes or courses so they can learn how to cook

With the great interest that cooking has aroused recently, you’re sure to find places that offer cooking courses, even ones for the whole family. There are also camps where cooking is the main activity. This could be a good opportunity for them to make new friends with those who share this interest.

Attend food fairs

Food fairs are a great idea to promote local food or the latest food trends. Some of them offer food or recipe tasting, workshops, masterclasses or even plant growing.

Visiting farms or orchards

This activity will help children to get to know the origin of food, and to understand the effort involved in producing it. They usually offer activities that allow them to experiment with the food and taste it.

In short, encouraging good eating habits from an early age through cooking and other food-related activities is key to their physical and mental health. In addition, they spend good quality time with their friends and family creating the dishes or mixing the ingredients, thus increasing the diversity of their diet.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.