- Ingrid Simone, Toca Magazine Executive Editor
There are lots of reasons some parents like to work solo in the kitchen. It’s sometimes quicker. It’s less messy. It’s often just … easier. But when families cook together, the benefits to everyone make it more than worth the extra cleanup. If you’re not in the habit of cooking together, we have three reasons you’ll want to. And if you’re already cooking together as a family — awesome. Here’s why you should keep up the good work:
Your family can bond
First and foremost, cooking together gives families a time to share, bond and work together. The reality of today’s family is that most of us are busy, with work, school, kids’ activities, homework and other responsibilities gobbling up most of our time. Setting aside a time where the entire family can work together to create a meal gives us a chance to pause, catch up and just connect with each other.
If you’re able to set aside a specific meal or two that you always make as a family, it’ll also give everyone a “together” time to look forward to. It could be pizza Friday, Sunday brunch or whatever works best for your family. You could also pick a weekend day to work together to prepare a meal or two for later in the week.
Kids can learn “soft skills”
Kids can learn a range of skills in the kitchen, even when they’re exploring on their own. But many of the “soft skills” kids can learn really only come out when they’re cooking with others. Kids — from preschoolers all the way up to teens — can learn social skills, communication skills, collaboration and more when you cook together as a family.
Kids can learn practical skills … and more “soft skills”
The skills needed to prepare and cook foods will last your kids a lifetime. Skills include:
- following a recipe
- preparing food (chopping, slicing, mincing, stirring, mixing, peeling, cracking an egg, etc.)
- cooking techniques (baking, boiling, frying, toasting, simmering, sautéing, etc.)
- cleaning up
But what if you’re just not a good cook? It’s OK to let your kid know you’re learning too! If there’s a certain technique you’re unsure about, check YouTube (seriously, you can learn anything on YouTube) or cooking websites together. This way, kids can also learn valuable lessons about recognizing one’s strengths and weaknesses, taking initiative to learn new things, and using technology to seek out information.
Is cooking together the norm in your family? Tell us about your experience in the comments.