5 Reasons to Cook with Kids and Dealing with Messy Moments
Kids in the kitchen are pretty much a guarantee for big messes.
At least in our house.
Even though I love a clean kitchen, and pretty much despise dirty, cluttered counters and crumbs on the floor, the messy moments that come from cooking and baking with kids are definitely worth it!
5 Reasons to Let Kids Get Messy in the Kitchen
I have a lot of reasons that I enjoy spending time with my kids in the kitchen.
Over the years, I have learned that these reasons far outweigh negatives like: that whatever the task it probably would have been easier and faster to do it on my own and getting the kids involved almost always increases the mess factor by at least 100%.
1. Cooking with Kids is Bonding Time
My number one reason for spending time in the kitchen with the kids is because it creates a great opportunity for some one on one time with my children.
When the kids are cooking with me, it usually ends up being just one at a time. This is great because it gives us time alone to talk and learn together.
2. Cooking with Kids Helps with Pick Eating
We’ve dealt with some serious picky eating in our house, but the more involved my kids are in the food preparation process (and in the mess making process) the more open they are to trying new foods.
3. You Can Use Cooking to Teach Kids Math
Now that Logan and Madeline are older, cooking with mom provides educational experiences that they don’t even realize are happening.
The best kind of learning happens when you are having fun.
Things like: We need 4 cups of flour and this is a 1 cup scoop, so how many times do we need to fill it up? (for Madeline).
Or, for Logan: The recipe calls for 4 cups of flour. We’ve already put in 2 cups, but we are using a 1/2 cup measuring scoop, so how many more scoops do we need?
As the kids get older, cooking is a great way to teach them about fractions, measurement conversions, temperatures, among other things. You may have thought you left behind basic algebra after you finished school, but I use math all the time in the kitchen.
I learned how to cook by being allowed to cook while I was growing up and being included in the cooking process with my mom, dad, and other adult family members.
By the time I got to college I knew how to make many basic dishes and several not-so-basic dishes.I was confident in following a recipe and ate well through my college years.
I was shocked at how many of my peers had no knowledge at all of cooking and were comfortable fueling their bodies with garbage every day.
Depending on the person, it was either because they didn’t know better, didn’t care, or didn’t have the skills to do anything differently.
It might be messy now, and for quite a while, but I view the opportunities to cook with my children as valuable life skills teaching moments and investments in their future in terms of their knowledge of nutrition, food preparation, and appropriate eating habits.
5. Cook with Your Kids Because…It’s Fun!
Sometimes it is nice to just have FUN! Baking cookies can incorporate a lot of the other 4 reasons to cook with children,
But, let’s face it…making cut out cookies or other treats provides fun, cheap, easy entertainment.
These messy moments become the treasured moments of childhood. Make sure to take plenty of photos! I love looking at all the old photos of me in the kitchen with my mom or my siblings.
Life’s Memorable Moments
Perhaps all of the messy moments in the kitchen with my children are simply payback for the occasion that I, as my 3 year old self, found it quite prudent to create my very first cake on the kitchen floor.
It is a story that I am still teased about to this day. Last week while talking with my dad on the phone an egg rolled off the counter and onto a floor.
He told me to just make a cake out of it.
I think my parents must have known back then that the kitchen would be always be my most favorite room in the house, because after that disaster I certainly made many, many more.
And now it is Logan and Madeline’s turn to make the messes (I still make plenty of my own, too!).
Some of our memorable messy moments are:
Flour-Power: When you are baking with kids and they turn the stand mixer immediately to “high power” after you’ve added flour to the bowl, thus dusting the entire kitchen in a layer of flour.
Logan likes to remind me all the time: Remember when we were making cookies and I turned the mixer on all the way and flour went everywhere!
How could I forget?
Eggsplosion: When little ones are learning to crack eggs and they squeeze the egg in their hand so hard that it cracks and the insides explode all over the counter.
Madeline has been working on her egg cracking skills, but once in a while her grip is just a little too tight and BOOM we have egg all over.
She loves to laugh about this!
We experience a lot of icky messes in our kitchen, but Clorox Disinfecting Wipes make it easier to clean up the grease, dirt, germs, and other sticky messes that are left behind when cooking with kids.
Easier clean up means more time enjoying making the mess and less time worrying about the clean up!
What hilarious ick-words or situations have happened in your kitchen?
This post is brought to you by The Clorox Company. I have partnered with them to spread the word about Clorox’s Ick-tionary program. All opinions and stories are my own.