Kids in the kitchen

As a stay at home mom, you’re probably spending a fair amount of time in the kitchen every day preparing meals. This is one area where you really save money by staying at home, because you aren’t picking up carry-out meals on your way home from work in the evening or eating out as much. Plus, since you’re home and do have more time for cooking, you’re able to cut expenses by not buying as many "convenience" heat and eat frozen or pre-packaged meals at the grocery store, something you can get on the table in a hurry after you get home from your 9-5 job.

While you’re in the kitchen preparing meals for your family, why not get the kids in there, too, for some hands-on lessons in the basics of cookery?

"Cookery" is a word originated in the 14th century that simply means "The art or practice of cooking." Heads up! Being able to make a tasty, well prepared dish is an art! Too often we tend to think of cooking as drudgery….nothing but work…a necessary evil…an unpleasant duty. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Cooking is extremely creative. Learning how to cook delicious meals and mastering the techniques of being a good cook can be enormously rewarding. Not only can you feel the gratification, the warm glow of success and pride in a job well done, when you bring a luscious home baked chocolate cake or other equally delicious dish to the table that you made with your own two hands, but your children and family will be rewarded, too!

It's a good feeling when you see the pleasure you've brought your family by serving a delicious meal. The desire to bring happiness to our nearest and dearest is a natural instinct. The Pillsbury Doughboy tells us that "Nothin' spells lovin’ like something from the oven!" When you prepare wonderful home cooked meals for your family, this is one of the many ways you show your love for them, isn't it?

Having your kids join you in the kitchen is a good idea for several reasons.

  • Learning the basics of cooking should be a part of everyone’s education, boys and girls alike. This is a skill that will come in handy for them regardless of what career they choose later in life. Anyone and everyone will benefit from knowing how to cook even simple dishes.
  • Cooking is a way for children to develop and express their creativity, to enjoy the feelings of accomplishment and self-worth that come from making something themselves from start to finish.
  • Watching you in the kitchen, helping with the preparation of a meal and seeing firsthand what all is involved in cooking, will furnish kids a better understanding and appreciation of what you do every day.
  • If your children are taught how to cook simple dishes, they could pinch hit in the kitchen if you were sick with the flu, or otherwise unavailable or indisposed. Naturally, very young children couldn’t be sent into the kitchen to cook, but when they’re old enough and have learned how to make even scrambled eggs or tuna salad for sandwiches, at least they wouldn’t have to eat cold cereal while you weren’t able to cook.
  • If you get your kids into the kitchen with you to learn elementary meal preparation, they can be a big help to you! You might have them perform simple tasks such as scrubbing vegetables prior to cooking, for example. There’s nothing wrong with having your children lend a hand with the everyday things you do. After all, everyone will be eating the food, not just you. I’m not suggesting that you turn them into galley slaves, but it won’t hurt them at all to help out at least occasionally, and it will give them a lesson in working together to get something done.

So, the next time you head into the kitchen to cook a meal, invite your children along! You’ll be doing them and yourself a favor!