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Why Should Dads Teach Their Kids to Cook?


A study indicates that 33% of youngsters were taught by their fathers how to cook compared to just a fifth of an older generation 45 years and above. It appears that today, more and more fathers teach their kids culinary skills. Dads are helping their offspring learn a skill that they can use throughout their lifetime. From reading to measuring ingredients, cooking is a useful activity that produces positive outcomes.

Bonding and Personal Development

Cooking together enhances bonding between fathers and their children by communicating and spending time with each other. It also explains division of labor and responsibility; and, at the same time, it promotes healthy eating habits. Research indicates that acquiring cooking skills at younger ages are linked to positive dietary behavior in adulthood. Hence, a child who learned to cook early will likely consume less processed food while growing up or will show an interest in healthier stuff. It is perceived that kids will retain these skills as they become adults.

Good dietary patterns are not the only benefits of learning to prepare meals at a young age. Cooking by itself is a series of activities and that process can be used to promote physical and emotional development. For example, motor skills are developed and strengthened when cooking because it involves controlled movements such as cutting, pouring, stirring, and separating. Reading ingredients and recipes will also enhance their abilities to prepare a dish while math skills are strenghtened because cooking involves measurement of ingredients.

How Fathers Can Impart Skills

Understandably, Dads fear for the safety of their children in the kitchen. However, taking risks is important to a child’s physical and cognitive development according to research. Risk management must be implemented though to avoid putting a kid in harm’s way when learning to cook. For example, there are fun and safe tools that dads can use in cooking such as non-slip bowls, whisks, and kid-friendly knives.

Fathers should also assign age appropriate activities that their children can safely do based on their developmental aptitude. An evidence-based cooking skill recommendations by Dean et al can be used as a guideline by parents to cook safely. According to the chart, children can already start to familiarize themselves with kitchen activities when they’re between 2-3 years old. At this age, children may wash fruits and veggies, use a rolling pin, or break veggies into pieces. Between 3-5 years, they can stir, sieve, squeeze, and mash ingredients. As they grow older, more complicated tasks may be taught such as weighing and measuring, draining, and using an oven or microwave when they’re between 7-9 years. After 9 years, a child may use a peeler, can opener, sharp scissors or grater. Several tasks can also be done unsupervised such as weighing and measuring, operating an oven or microwave, and using a hand mixer.

Fathers are now more involved in helping their youngsters succeed in the kitchen. Cooking promotes bonding with Dads and teaches valuable life skills.

Jeff Campbell