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The value of cooking with your child

Peppermint Chocolate Cups
Peppermint Chocolate Cups

I remember spending time in the kitchen with my mom. She was a working mother in the 50’s, teaching music lessons from our home. Even though she was not available until after 5:30 when music lessons were over, she had a set routine for setting the table and a list that had to be followed.

Another requirement were the precise rules for cooking in the kitchen. The recipe had to followed and everything had to be washed up. The kitchen was almost clean by the time the casserole was put in the oven. Only the counters had to be wiped.

What I did not realize at the time, was that in addition to learning valuable skills,I was also enjoying the sensory experiences of cooking. Some of these were the textures of all the vegetables, occasional tastes, smells while preparing the food, and then the wafts as it cooked, how the colors changed from raw to cooked, and even listening for when things boiled.

When I go to a grocery store now, sometimes the cashiers do not even know the names of the vegetables I am buying. It is a good idea to give your child a wide variety of foods to taste and and the knowledge of how to cook them. Start with fun things, like simple desserts, and continue with nutritious foods which you cook regularly. You and your child will enjoy the time together, and you will be creating a base for our child’s knowledge and independence.

© 2014 Kathryn Hardage