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The Many Benefits of Cooking With Children

We teamed up with Steph from @thekiddiekitchen to bring you a blog detailing the benefits of getting your little ones in the kitchen! This blog includes a free downloadable recipe for some healthy cookies.

"From early childhood, the kitchen can be such a magical and important place in a child’s heart; children, by nature, are intrigued by the goings on in the kitchen and the benefits of getting them involved in cooking are endless! From learning about different foods, to developing their fine motor skills, cooking is a fantastic skill to learn and one that will set them up for life.

My name is Steph, I manage a family friendly food page over on Instagram @thekiddiekitchen and I am absolutely blessed with my 22 month old daughter, Rosie. Rosie is like many toddlers full of energy and desperate to learn, and one of her favourite things to do is to get involved in cooking.

I’m a huge advocate of the #antiscreenrevolution campaign from Jaques of London and thus I’ve tried to include Rosie in the kitchen from an early age; whether it was having her next to me and chatting her through the actions when baking, exploring the colours and textures of the ingredients or asking her to take some vegetables out of the fridge. Personally, I love the experience of making something together. Yes, it can get a little messy (there have been instances of batter on the ceiling and up the walls!) but it’s all usually very easy to tidy up and Rosie usually enjoys the cleaning aspect of the activity too; wiping down the counters or floor and putting the ‘dirty’ pieces in the bin. Each instruction she follows is mastering a new skill and she has come such a long way since she first started “helping”.

One of the greatest things about the kitchen is that it’s an easy and neutral environment to encourage your child’s self confidence and sense of self worth by celebrating their achievements and helping them learn to take pride in their work; something that is essential for future roles within schooling and, even later on, within employment. Rosie especially enjoys clapping and shouting “hooray” when cookies or cake are removed from the oven, and she reacts really well to praise throughout the baking exercises.

One of the most surprising things I’ve found is when we are preparing fruit or vegetables together she is very interested in exploring them and very often curious about their flavour which ends in her tasting almost everything. However if offering her those foods on a plate at meal times she may refuse them, so it just goes to show that different environments/activities are an important part of learning to enjoy foods too!

When first introducing children to cooking/baking, it can be a little overwhelming as to where to begin. It’s interesting how many tasks that they can get involved in with a little supervision and I’ve put together a list of things you can assist your child to complete from as young as 18 months:

 

  •  Pour dry and wet ingredients into a bowl

  • Transfer vegetables to and from the fridge

  • Transfer foods to cold pans (pasta, chopped fruit and vegetables)

  • Use cookie cutters

  • Mash ingredients

  • Sprinkle herbs or toppings

  • Mix batter/ingredients

  • Wash fruits and vegetables

  • Pick fresh herbs

  • Brush milk or butter onto pastry or other foods

  • Put items in the bin or dedicated waste bowl

  • Cleaning up their work area


     

    One of the easiest recipes I make with Rosie is that of banana oat cookies. All ingredients are able to be tasted when raw and therefore perfect for babies and toddlers still mouthing. They contain no refined sugar but are super tasty, suitable from 6 months old and can be kept in the fridge for up to three days. Clean up and cook time are both very short which makes everything that little bit easier. You can download the recipe here."

    We LOVE Steph's article about the benefits of cooking for kids! Time away from the screen is crucial for childhood development and activities, such as this, are perfect for enticing your children away from their screens! Check out our range of wooden toys and garden games

    If you would like to guest blog for us, send an email to pr@jaqueslondon.co.uk. 

     

     

    Kate Luke
    Head Of Content
    After graduating with a 2.1 Music degree, Kate pursued a career in the Music Industry, becoming a professional West End vocalist and a fully qualified Music Teacher, School Choir Leader and Songwriter. As one of Jaques of London’s Creative Editors, her specialism surrounds building confidence and expression through music & play—drawing upon her qualifications in Music Psychology & Child Development. As well as this, she is an accomplished blog writer and published journalist who enjoys promoting the importance of Montessori learning for all ages.
    Ben Williamson
    Creative Writer
    Ben is passionate about Montessori learning for children and has written for many parenting publications to bring the magic of real play to families in the UK. After graduating in 2009, his career has enabled him to work in areas such as Child Development and Psychology. As a great believer that learning starts at home, he combines his experience with his own parenting style to help bring other families together.
    Faith Scanlon
    Social Media Executive
    A-Level graduate, Faith, developed a passion for Creative Marketing and developed these skills to complete a Level 3 Diploma in Social Media Marketing. Her interest in child education came through as a professional kid’s entertainer, combining the best parts of play and learning together as a celebration. She is currently using her expertise to share our brand with the social community. In her spare time, Faith enjoys writing and managing her own personal blog site, adding yet another feather to her creative cap.
    Mark James
    Creative Content Editor
    After graduating with a 2:1 in Media, Mark set about establishing a highly respected online reputation as an extremely accomplished freelance copywriter and SEO expert. Having assisted with the launch of many successful start-ups, Mark has developed a strong knowledge in formulating and further developing brand identities across a disparate array of industries. In doing so, he has played key roles in the ongoing success of marketing campaigns, SEO strategies and online content management, for hundreds of different clients. As father to an adorable little boy, Mark discovered a passion for child education. Having found vocational vigour in offering free music lessons to children, he now hopes to lend his creative flair to Jaques of London, helping to promote the importance of early-learning through discovery and play.

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