Preparing 3 meals a day for my family, day after day got me thinking, what sorts of lessons could kids (of any age) learn from pitching in, or even taking over a meal here and there?! Sure, its quicker, cleaner and safer to have the kids out of the kitchen, but here’s a list of things anyone, but especially kids can learn from cooking.
- Life can be a challenge.
It is hard and messy sometimes. And it doesn’t always turn out the way you hoped even when you do everything just right. The good news is most kids and food are resilient, forgiving and adaptable.
- Work together.
As with most things, its better to work together. Some of my favorite memories were created in the kitchen while helping my grandma and my mom on various meals and treats.
- Have fun.
Its easy to get lost in the mundane, sometimes monotonous steps of cooking, and in the repetition of the day to day. Including kids is a remainder that it can and should be a joy!
- Food brings people together.
So much of life’s sacred moments are shared around a table and a meal, especially right now. Food always seems to taste better when there’s someone to share it with.
- There is magic in the mundane.
Putting seemingly uninteresting things together can create a wonderful (yummy) result if you mix in a bit of creativity.
- Be proud of yourself.
When kids make something and serve it to their family, there’s a huge sense of importance and a pride that comes from contributing to the whole.
- There’s a whole world to discover.
Trying new recipes, making something up from your own head, “traveling” the globe through different cuisine gives a sense that the possibilities are endless and there is so much to discover in food and culture, in taste and variety.
- Its ok to make mistakes.
Cooking can be messy, and things invariably go wrong once in a while. The kitchen is a great place for kids to see adults goof up, correct, and improvise. (Sometimes cereal for dinner is creative problem-solving.)
- God is with us.
Its important to remember is that our most central act of worship is based around a meal. In the ordinary of bread and wine, of a meal shared, Christ is present. Our family tables are now the altars in which we worship the living God, right in our own homes.
So, if you’re the chef in your house, step aside here and there and let these lessons be made real for others in your family. Youth, if given the opportunity, might be thrilled to menu plan and execute a meal of their very own creation to serve to your family. (It can also be counted as culinary arts class time 😉 )Using their creativity, their taste and their open schedule right now could just be the best thing for everyone! A break for you, and a boost of confidence and creativity for them.