What children gain from learning to cook (and adults too):

How long until it's time to eat the cake?Cooking is a great life management skill, cooking is a unique opportunity to tie together skills that carry over into every aspect of your life:

Being able to feed yourself develops self-confidence.

Consideration of others: cooking begins with teamwork and can involve making food that is pleasing to others.

Social skills are developed because children never eat alone.

Independence: people that don’t learn how to cook become dependent on others to cook for them.

Family history: through the recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation, it’s a thread that can be lost if it isn’t shared and passed on.

Large and small motor skills are involved in handling food: whether picking up a pea or mixing in a bowl the more involved the cook the better the motor skills and muscles are developed.

Being prepared is imperative in cooking, having everything you need before you start.

Organizational skills are required to get ingredients, the tools and equipment to be easily accessible.

Instinct is developed through a sense of smelling raw and cooking foods: does it smell ripe; does it smell good?

Patience including the steps for and the reward of achieving a goal, like a meal or a cake.

Reading and writing skills:

Short paragraphs of common nouns and verbs that are repeated make recipes easy to read.

A 4 or 5 year old can cross off words from a shopping list, a 6 year old can help write a       shopping list which also involves spelling.

How to follow directions, by instruction and reading. Ahhh is not cooking the sign of a control freaks?

The memory of repeating a recipe, of the aroma of food, a flavor that becomes a favorite (or not) all exercise the memory capacity of the brain. The more you remember the less you forget.

The pallet is developed by age 3, achieve a lifetime of healthy food preference is achieved by engaging young children in nibbling real food as they help prepare meals and snacks.

Common sense is the main ingredient in all cooking, once you understand the practical application of math and science: weights, measurements, fractions, addition, subtraction, multiplication, ratios.

Telling time: this is a great opportunity to engage a child in reading the face of a watch or a clock.

A clear sense of time by minutes or hours is involved in cooking.

Timing and having everything ready at the same time, and timing is a key to success.

Paying attention to what you are doing and staying focused is essential to cooking.

Safety first: respecting safety rules is imperative when your using knives and fire.

Once you learn to cook you can do it forever! And I always say that if you eat you should be able to cook.

For a list of stages of appropriate responsibility growth in cooking go to <www.good2eat4U.com> the Cooks Code is listed on the home page. The recipes on that website and in the cookbook ‘Let’s Play With Food’ are listed by skill set: www.letsplaywithfood.com

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