Most days at my house dinner time is a mad rush. I'm trying to get everything done at the same time and in perfect sync with my husband's arrival home from work. Meanwhile, my two preschoolers are making a master piece of mess across the living room floor...and down the hall...and in their bedroom...well pretty much the entire house! It's a stressful time of day to say the least.
Recently though, I've discovered the joy of cooking with my children. I had been avoiding this for quite some time because the thought of the mess and inedible food that would result made me cringe. But after a little test run with mixing cookie dough I discovered that my kids LOVE being in the kitchen! And even though it may be a little messier then usual, it is well worth the extra clean up to enjoy making something together and watch those little hands create something that doesn't involve toys being thrown all over the house!
The benefits of cooking as a family are great. Kids (even extra picky preschoolers) are encouraged to try new healthy foods when they are part of the cooking process. Cooking is also a learned skill that a lot of parents in today's busy world aren't teaching their children. Teaching your children basic cooking skills, sharing family recipes and having quality family time in the kitchen is not only a learning experience for your children but also a wonderful relationship builder.
Cooking in the home also teaches better eating habits and may help your children to make healthier choices the rest of their lives. And if that's not enough to motivate you, according to an article on WebMD, positive cooking experiences now can not only build self-confidence but also help your children to be less likely to abuse drugs later in life.
So get in the kitchen with your children and create something tasty, healthy, messy and wonderful! You will love it- and so will they- guaranteed!