Cooking is such an interesting process. It can often take a lot longer to prepare the dish than it does to eat it. At the same time, there’s so much to learn from the cooking process. If you want to teach your child some awesome life lessons they can hold on to, give them an apron and send them into the kitchen for these four reasons.
Depending on the dish, there’s usually an amount of prep work every chef has to do. Prep work usually includes tasks like mincing garlic, chopping up vegetables or throwing ingredients into a process. Sure, there are ways to minimize the amount of prep work (purchasing chopped vegetables and buying minced garlic in a jar), but the freshest ingredients are prepped on the spot. This teaches a child that any major life goal involves an amount of prep work. If your child wants to be a part of the soccer team, they have to practice, buy the proper uniform and pay certain fees. Nothing comes without some preparation.
In the kitchen and in life, there are consequences for every action. The consequences can either be good or bad, but they’re always there. In the kitchen, a child can choose to cover a pan with oil to sauté mushrooms. Sautéing mushrooms in oil will taste great, but the smell of frying oil lingers in the air. Now, it’s time to open up the windows and turn on the fan. Sautéing mushrooms in a little bit of water and seasonings will taste great and there won’t be any lingering smell to fan away. Different choices give different results. A child needs to be prepared for the consequences of any action.
There might be times when a recipe looks incredible, sounds incredible, but a step gets missed. Just by accidentally missing one step, a recipe gets ruined. While it may be really disappointing, it’s important to realize what went wrong, learn from it and try again. If a child is in the middle of baking holiday sugar cookies and forgets about them in the oven, they’ll burn. At the same time, they’ll never forget to check on the cookies next time.
It’s always better to give than to receive. It’s so important to make sure children understand the beauty of giving their time, energy, talents and resources to others. Cooking can be a laborious act, but people appreciate it deeply when it’s completed.
These four life lessons will take any child far. It’ll help them understand the realities of life in a tangible way. Plus, it’ll also give the parents a chance to let their kids cook a few nights a week!