If you enjoy cooking already, you’re bound to fall even more in love with it once you discover just what a valuable family activity it can be. Having your teen join you in the kitchen won’t just liven up the atmosphere in there, but will also present you with an opportunity to pass on your wisdom to your young ones. Let’s take a look at the many benefits of cooking for teenagers.
A great time to bond
Cooking activities for kids in the kitchen gives you a great opportunity to bond with them. Teens generally have a life of their own, which revolves around their own interests and social circle. Being in the kitchen with them for as long as it takes to prepare the food is a chance for you to finally have a chit-chat with them. Furthermore, you’re likely to find them in a relaxed mood and hence willing to share what’s going on in their lives.
A boost to self-esteem
Hardly surprising, cooking contributes to healthy self-esteem development in teens in a variety of ways. During the course of cooking, they continue to learn new stuff, which enhances their knowledge. When the food is finally cooked, they feel a sense of accomplishment. Finally, when people eat that food and praise it, they feel both a sense of pride as well as a sense of achievement.
Fosters responsibility and independence
During their childhood, kids are typically kept away from kitchen equipment, especially knives because they are not thought to be mature enough to handle them with care. However, once in their teen years and willing to cook, they don’t just have access to the kitchen equipment, but also to the rest of the kitchen gear. Being trusted with the items that were previously off-limits to them, cleaning the equipment and gear, and clearing the counter once the cooking project is done with can foster responsibility in them. Furthermore, having learnt how to cook makes them feel empowered and slightly prepared for the times when they’ll have to look after themselves and cook their own meals.
Teaches about different cultures
Using cooking to teach teens about the different cultures around the globe can prove to be more effective approach than simply giving them a lecture. Involve them in the cooking of dishes specific to different cultures, while sharing a little something about the latter. Experience is a far better teacher than imagination and since cooking touches all the senses, the child may have a good chance of retaining what he or she learnt and experienced about the culture.
Cultivates social skills
A cooking project is bound to become interactive due to the reading, understanding and explaining of recipe steps. In addition to this, if a problem arises, both you and your teen may work on it together to find a viable solution. Be sure to give your kid the feeling of being in-charge by asking them to read and explain the recipe instructions to you. Also, try making the most of the time by sharing stories to make the cooking session even more fun.
The aforementioned benefits are testament to what a valuable and enriching experience cooking can be for teens. Needless to say, you need to make an effort to ensure that they enjoy the activity so that they are keen to engage in it more often.