Not convinced? Here are six reasons children as young as 3 years old should begin helping you prepare Thanksgiving dinner:
1) They will learn and have a chance to practice basic math skills.
b. Try comparing amounts with children – which is bigger, a half-cup or two-thirds cup? How many half cups equal a whole cup? Are we putting in more baking powder or flour? What do we need first … second … last?
2) They will learn more about being patient.
a. Cooking is the perfect opportunity for children to develop patience. Children allowed to help prepare meals will be so excited to see the final product they helped create, but will learn that not everything is instant gratification.
3) They will have to follow directions.
a. Teach children what a recipe is and that they must follow the directions in order for the recipe to work. Kids will learn that you must read directions and follow them in order to get the desired results. (Bonus: They will learn how much work parents do to prepare meals!)
4) They will have fun!
a. Whether they are creating place cards, stirring ingredients or just gathering the items needed for the meal, kids love getting in the action in the kitchen. They are generally interested in what’s going on – so invite them in!
5) They will have a sense of accomplishment.
a. Kids will be beaming with pride when the whole family sits down to eat the meal they helped create. Be sure to compliment them on a job well done!
6) They are less likely to be obese.
a. Kids who learn to cook early will most likely cook for themselves more frequently than eating out. They will become aware of what goes into each dish, and hopefully have healthy role models to follow. Make family mealtime a priority and set a good example by eating healthy.
b. According to Livestrong.com, preschoolers in particular should stay active and never sit for longer than 60 minutes. So after they help you cook as much as they can – let them run around outside while you finish up with the knives and hot objects.
Kids ‘R’ Kids prioritizes family time, as well as good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. Schools and academies have chefs, garden-to-tray meals and other options, such as vegetarian or gluten-free, available for those who request it.
“Thanksgiving is really about family time,” said Charlene Taylor, Director of Corporate Communications. “The memories children will have of cooking with their families will last a lifetime! I can’t wait to invite my nephew into the kitchen Thursday.”