Kids CookingRecipes for Children

10 Reasons to Cook with Your Kids

The idea of cooking with kids might seem like a challenge too far but as you’ll discover, it can be an immensely rewarding experience for you all.

Cooking offers children of all ages so many learning opportunities, from reading recipes and shopping for ingredients to calculating portion sizes. You can use cooking as a jumping-off point to explore lots of other subjects together. These might include:

  • Healthy eating
  • Budgeting
  • Gardening
  • History
  • The environment
  • Other cultures

Kid baking cookies

How Your Child will Benefit from Cooking

It doesn’t matter what you choose to make together, whether it’s a dozen cupcakes or an elaborate lunch, your child will benefit from the experience. For example, they’ll learn to set targets, manage their time, and see a project (in this case, cooking something from scratch) through to completion.

You can encourage your child to choose a suitable recipe, prepare a list of ingredients and perhaps go shopping with you to buy them, then set aside the time to prepare and make it.

To help you get started, we’ve included a wonderful recipe from issue #40 for delicious lucky noodles, that young David, a Brilliant Brainz reader featured in Issue #41, had great fun making. (See the orange PDF download button at the bottom of the page.)

Your children will benefit in so many immediate ways from cooking with you and they will be developing an important life skill and that’s worth its weight in gold.

Let’s look more closely at some of the specific benefits your child will gain from cooking at home with you.

Kids all fired up and ready to cook

10 Benefits Your Kids Will Get from Cooking

1. Cooking helps your children to become aware of what they eat and how it is made. It will also help them to appreciate what goes into the preparation of the meals they eat every day.

2. It’s an opportunity to talk about where food comes from. This can help children to learn about the environment and food production. For example, that carrots grow from seeds in the ground and when they are ready, are picked and packed into cases and then transported in a variety of ways to a supermarket.

You could take this further by encouraging your children to begin growing their own herbs and vegetables. If you don’t have a garden, that’s not a problem. It’s easy to cultivate quick-growing plants like lettuces and basil in small pots on your windowsill or balcony.

3. You can teach your child about potential hazards in the kitchen. These include sharp knives, heavy utensils, boiling liquids, and hot oven doors and stove plates. You can show them how to be safety-conscious as they cook to avoid cooking-related accidents in the kitchen. A pre-cooking ‘safety check’ could become part of every cooking session.

4. Handling food can help picky eaters to become more open to trying new things, a study at the University of Eastern Finland discovered. It found that pre-schoolers who were exposed to fruit and vegetables in activities such as cooking, gardening, playing games and listening to stories, were more likely to choose those food groups from a snack buffet than kids who didn’t have these classroom activities. Although this study focused on the very young, the same principle is likely to apply to older children too.

5. Your child will discover how crucial timing is in cooking. This will hopefully encourage your child to think of time management in a positive way. Perhaps it will even make sticking to a schedule or timetable more palatable.

Kid cutting pastry
Ready Steady Bake!

6. Cooking offers a chance for your child to use maths in a practical and fun way. Your child will see how maths is an important part of everyday life rather than something confined to a classroom setting. After all, every recipe involves weighing and measuring ingredients. Depending upon your child’s ability, he or she could attempt converting the measurements from metric to imperial or vice versa. Your child may have to use arithmetic to scale a recipe up or down, depending upon the number of people eating.

7. Cooking gives you and your child an opportunity to spend a few hours being creative. If other people will be able to enjoy the food the two of you have prepared together, even better. Your child will learn the joy of doing something for the benefit of others.

8. Cooking is not weather-dependent, so it won’t matter if it’s pouring with rain or too hot to play outdoors. On summer days, when it might be too hot to contemplate having the oven on, you can use no-bake cake recipes or make healthy salads.

9. Your child’s written comprehension will improve since he or she will have to read the recipe and follow the preparation instructions.

10. Your child will discover the pleasure of seeing a task from its inception (choosing the recipe) through to its conclusion (cleaning up). This is another valuable life skill that your child will get from cooking at home.

Kid’s Creations: LUCKY NOODLES

Now try a special ‘Lucky Noodles’ recipe (.PDF 5MB) from Issue #40.

6-year-old cooking Lucky Noodles
“David loved cooking the lucky stir fry noodles!”


Our readers, like 6-year-old David (pictured above), followed our clear pictorial instructions and loved making these delicious noodles. We’re sure your ‘junior Masterchefs’ will too!

And remember, every one of our back issues includes a great recipe for your kids to try out, as will future issues — so click the SHOP link above if you would like to order Back Issues or Subscribe!

Screencap of lucky stir fry recipe for kidsDelicious lucky stir fry recipe for kids







We’d love to see photos of YOU all cooking together. And we’d also love to share your favourite recipes with other Brilliant Brainz readers, so please send them in.

Here’s your Lucky Noodles recipe download link:

Tags: Kids Cooking, Recipes for Children

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