My Little Man loves to cook. He’s had his hands in the mix since he was very young.
I remember him between ages 2 and 3, sitting on the countertop on Saturday mornings with Father of the Year, adding cups of pancake mix to the mixing bowl and stirring.
Before long, he was cracking the eggs, flipping hot cakes and now, at age eleven, able to tackle the whole endeavor by himself.
He’s a little chef. My little chef.
Learning to Cook is a Process for Kids
Yes, it’s taken a long time—almost ten years. But, I’d say, he’s ahead of the game (and his peers, maybe), and the benefits are mounting.
With the exception of clean up…
Teaching my son to cook hasn’t been a struggle (though, sometimes his requests to cook have come at inopportune times), nor a forced agenda.
On the contrary, it has been quite pleasant, with interest and suggestions coming from him—and often, very little involvement, other than supervision, from my husband or I.
A natural, organic process I’d say.
Cooking is a Science
My Little Man approaches cooking like a science experiment, carefully watching what is happening as food becomes transformed.
He tries new food combinations (like the fried rice he is preparing in the pictures), different tools, and new spices (he’s moved forward with an interest in pepper because of his adventures in the kitchen).
Just like the research articles suggest, he enjoys eating what he has prepared.
Kids Need to Learn Cooking Skills
Like most moms, I want my children to know how to cook when they graduate to the real world. Knowing my child can cook gives me a sense of security–if they can cook, then they can take care of themselves.
[Listen: My interview with author of PREP, Katie Morford]
I also want them to know how to eat well— eating the right amounts, and the right balance of foods for their health with foods that they enjoy.
I can’t think of a better way to accomplish my wants and desires than getting my kids in the kitchen to cook.
On my son’s eleventh birthday, he selected a dinner menu of steak, artichokes with hollandaise, and fried rice.
He proceeded to inform me that he would be making the fried rice for the family—and he did!
Are you creating a little chef by getting your boy into the kitchen? What has he made lately?
Written by: Jill Castle, MS, RDN
Published on: November 28, 2012
Updated on: August 14, 2019