Cooking classes for kids are not always considered beneficial or worth the time or money it takes to get your child involved. Classes are typically not at the forefront of the options list when parents consider extracurricular activities for their children, but cooking is a life skill. After-school cooking classes or any type of child cooking classes offer many benefits. Your child learning to cook is just one of them. Let’s dive into some others!
Learning is encouraged.
After spending an entire day learning in school, getting a child to want to focus on learning some more is not the easiest task. However, getting them into the kitchen for cooking classes encourages learning without them always noticing. During child cooking classes, kids have to read recipes. They’re not realizing that they’re sharpening their reading skills because they are focused on how much fun they are having cooking.
In after-school cooking classes, children are using math skills to add the correct amount of an ingredient to a recipe. They may be doing this on their own or with a group but utilizing the skill, nonetheless. Child cooking classes also have chemistry, often without kids knowing. The young cooks learn what happens when you mix certain ingredients or when foods are heated, or even fruits are sliced.
Healthy eating habits are created.
Different recipes call for different ingredients. Some of those ingredients may be foods that kids in the cooking classes are unfamiliar with. Allowing them a situation to discover new foods, spices, etc. that they may not have been exposed to otherwise gives them more opportunities to make healthier choices regarding food. Maybe they don’t like your typical vegetables, but offering them more unique options will broaden the likelihood they will find something they enjoy. Child cooking classes also offer situations for children to learn about the health benefits (or lack thereof) that different foods or ingredients have to offer. Kids are more likely to eat what they prepare and develop long-term healthy habits.
Confidence is built.
Building a child’s confidence is one of the most important pieces of their growth. Child cooking classes encourage growth in confidence in more ways than one. Seeing a recipe start as a list of ingredients and then turning into a beautiful and delicious work of art is something to be incredibly proud of. The expressions of joy on children’s faces at the end of their cooking class are all you need to see to understand how proud of themselves they feel. When they continually have positive experiences related to learning, knowing even if they make mistakes, it can work out, they want to continue to learn and in turn, continue to build confidence and self-esteem.
Safety is encouraged- believe it or not!
During cooking classes for kids, children are doing the mixing, preparing, slicing, and chopping of everything. Different steps of cooking call for the use of different tools within the kitchen. Some of those tools are sharp. Encouraging the use of these tools during cooking classes also encourages the safety that comes with using those tools. When children engage in everyday play, they are not typically allowed to use knives or other sharp objects. That being said, a cooking class may be one of the few places where the young participants can use this type of equipment and learn how to use it safely.
Students also learn how to use the stove and oven and work with heat and fire. Turning pot handles towards the side or the back of the range, keeping all towels and materials away from the stove, and not leaving anything on the range unattended are a few fire safety tips students learn.
Slow down and make personal connections.
This is probably my favorite and most important benefit of any kind of cooking class for kids. Life is busy. Everyone is constantly on the go, and it is difficult to always find the time to slow down and connect. Joining each other in the kitchen, whether that kitchen is big or small, allows you that time to slow down and enjoy each other’s presence while creating something together. More often than not, young adults or children come into my cooking classes not knowing any of their peers. All it takes is one class of working together for these kids to connect with at least one other young cook in their cooking class.
Finding that bond or connection within their cooking class can inspire children to yearn for that slower moment in their home. It may inspire them to want to reconnect with a sibling or a guardian in their home while teaching them what they learned in their after-school cooking class. Connecting while cooking in the kitchen is incredibly calming and can leave one feeling uplifted and happy.
Cooking classes are enjoyable and a wonderful tool for people of all ages. However, cooking classes for kids offer so many wonderful benefits that are often underutilized. These cooking classes are not solely to teach a child to cook. Whether a child you know is struggling in certain subjects in school, you are wanting to find a way to build up their confidence, or you are simply wanting to encourage friendship and connections, consider getting them involved in a cooking class. The tools they will acquire during their time completing their class will be ones they can utilize throughout their entire lives.