Time and again you hear mothers shout their children out from the kitchen probably because they consider it a dangerous place or that it is not just an environment for them.
Unknown to such mothers, the kitchen can be a fascinating classroom for children and adults to learn.
What are the benefits that can be gained when children in particular are regularly invited into the kitchen?
With a good sense of humility inculcated, they can learn to serve others and work as part of a team.
The kitchen is also a place where children can be taught creativity and problem solving skills.
What is more, a well-arranged clean kitchen is also a place to learn proper personal organization and orderliness.
One great advantage of letting children into the kitchen is that it creates an opportunity for wise use of training time.
Modern technology and information consumes our children’s time on the TV, internet, phones etc.
The kitchen can therefore be a good starting point for taking our children through other domestic routines that their parents engage in.
When we realize that we have a godly responsibility to train the children, then we must develop techniques that should make learning not a burden but fun and absorbing.
Because of the amount of time we regularly spend in the kitchen, it obviously becomes a perfect place for shared family activity.
Again, because we have regular appetites that refuse to be put off, everyone, especially the children desires a regular presence in the kitchen.
This can be turned to an advantage by using such periods to teach them the many beneficial lessons that can be learned in that unique classroom.
Children relate well to food.
An experienced teacher once said that at young ages, their sense of smell, taste and touch are so keen such that they become totally involved.
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Think of some kitchen activities that can be learnt from pouring, pounding, peeling, sifting, stirring, and rolling.
Such kitchen practices help them in a great way to effectively use their hands in a skillful way.
Lessons in safety, responsibility, personal organization and team work are abundant in the kitchen.
It is not anything pleasant that many men and women today cannot cook a meal.
Infact many cannot handle simple kitchen tasks as boiling water to make good eba not to talk of preparing rice and stew.
However, children who start out early helping in the kitchen are able to prepare entire meals by the time they reach their teenage years.
Such children develop confidence and self-sufficiency.
These are part of the qualities that can benefit them when they later take on adult responsibilities whether they are married or remain single.
For the married ones it contributes to a successive marriage.
Otherwise what man will be pleased with a wife that prefers to eat out always simply because she cannot cook.
Some practical suggestions for making cooking fun with your children in the kitchen include:
- Schedule a time when there are as few distractions as possible.
- If you have several children, plan to work with one at a time.
- Plan on spending more time than if you were cooking alone
- For the first session, you might let your children select something that he or she enjoys eating.
- Look for a recipe that brings swift results and that includes tasks your child can successfully complete.
- In order for your child not to get restless or bored, get him to find some of the needed ingredients and utensils beforehand. Assist him or her where necessary.
- Read through the recipe with your child.
- Provide the child with his own space in the kitchen if possible with his own drawer a couple of utensils. Give the child an apron.
- Right from the start, emphasize the importance of safety and set sensible rules for the kitchen.
- Don’t just have your child watch you. Have him wash his hands and keep them busy in the actual preparation of the food.
- Allow opportunity for him to explore, experiment and ask questions.
- If the dish doesn’t turn out perfectly, don’t worry. If your child made it himself, he will probably eat it anyway!
In conclusion, the advantages of a family cooking together are numerous.
We live in a society where members of some families have made their home a rest stop or a refueling station due to time consuming activities.
In contrast, a family that cooks together is more likely to eat together and clean up together.
These activities create regular opportunities for communication, healthy interaction and keeping in touch with one another.
With a good line of communication open, it becomes easier for the parents to inculcate spiritual and moral values in their children in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
So if as a parent you are looking for ways to spend more time with your children, why not invite them to help you bake or cook some meal?
You may discover that working with them in the kitchen is a means both to nourish and to nurture your family.