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It’s hard to ignore: the current health situation has greatly affected most families in Australia and all around the world.
If you’re now hanging with the family at home, it can be challenging to come up with activities to keep everyone entertained week after week.
The Dinner Twist team has the perfect answer: grab the kids, put on some aprons, wash your hands (extra thoroughly these days, of course) and let’s get started!
Here are 5 reasons why cooking with your kids is the perfect hanging-at-home activity.
School

1. Teaches school skills, outside school!

Even if you and your kids are isolated at home with no work or school in sight, cooking can be an efficient and fun way to teach about maths, English, chemistry, physics, history, geography, and so much more.
When you preheat a pan and throw on a steak, it browns — this is the Maillard reaction, and it’s a fascinating (and tasty) example of how we use physics and chemistry in the kitchen. Similarly, whisking egg whites to create foam, melting butter, boiling pasta, and freezing leftovers are interesting ways we get scientific when cooking… and we don’t even think about it!
Maths is also as easy as 1,2,3 to incorporate into a family cooking session. For example, you may have to double up a recipe, which calls for multiplication! Other examples are shapes, counting, and measuring.
English is also a natural part of being in the kitchen. Before starting, have your kids read the recipe aloud to practice reading skills. Plus, you can help grow their vocabulary by assisting when tricky new words such as "julienne" or "sautéing" show up!
And, whenever Greek gyros, Indian naan bread or Mexican nachos are on the menu, make sure to have a chat over the kitchen counter or dinner table about the geography, culture and history of these countries and their famous dishes! This can also be a fantastic way to build your kid’s curiosity for cooking specific recipes or cuisines in the future.
(pssst, if you need to do a little online research beforehand to prepare for the educational part, we’re not judging.)
Creative

2. Boosts creativity and confidence

When you go from thinking “I don’t know how to do that!” to “hey, I did it! It wasn’t that hard!” it’s only natural that you gain a tonne of self-confidence. And that’s true in the kitchen, too!
Kids may be hesitant to join in when in the kitchen, simply because they don’t know where to start. That’s why it’s fun to get started together!
Toddlers can help with washing and drying fresh produce, mixing salads, and setting the table. Older kids can assist with taste testing, plating, and even chopping, while teenagers can help out every step of the way — until they’re confident enough to try out an entire recipe or two on their own.
Learning new cooking skills also boosts creativity; mixing and matching flavours, colours and textures is a great outlet for creativity.
Skills

3. Improves useful everyday skills

Cooking teaches kids a wealth of skills. Skills that are useful in - and outside the kitchen!
Following a recipe step by step builds direction-following skills. This may sound trivial but is hugely important in school, at work, and in general in social gatherings.
Motor skills are also developed when cooking, especially for younger kids. Chopping, stirring, pouring, rolling and kneading are just a few examples.
Cooking also teaches kids about sequencing — that is, in what order to do certain steps. As an adult, you’re probably well aware that if a chicken needs 30 minutes in the oven, it’s a great idea to get that going before making the salad which might just take 5 minutes. But a kid who’s never created a meal before might have no clue!
Another skill you learn in the kitchen is problem-solving. For example, what do we do if an ingredient is missing? If we accidentally added too much of something? If the recipe calls for three saucepans, but we only have two?
Invite your kids to the kitchen and watch them learn new skills with every recipe.
(On a side note, Dinner Twist hopes you also gain a few tips and tricks when cooking our carefully planned and tested recipes!)
Diet

4. Leads to a healthier diet

It’s no secret, and should come to no surprise: home-cooked meals are healthier than frozen convenience meals and takeaway.
So naturally, when families regularly cook together, their diet improves!
As your kids — and yourself — gain confidence in the kitchen, it’s easier and easier to add even more fresh, nutrient-dense ingredients to your meals.
(And if you need a hand to crank up the veggie content of your dinners, why not let Dinner Twist help? Our recipes are jam-packed with wholesome WA ingredients!)
Family

5. Builds a life-long love of cooking and stronger family bonds

Having fun together in the kitchen naturally builds stronger family bonds. And when your kids learn that even a small effort in the kitchen can create delicious dishes exactly of their liking, a strong foundation for a life-long love of cooking has been laid!
When kids learn that food doesn’t just magically appear on the dinner table and that it takes time, care, and love to create it, they’ll quickly learn to appreciate the act of cooking.
Teaching your kids these simple skills will follow them through life - plus, it's so much fun!
{At least the Dinner Twist team thinks so!}
What are you waiting for?
So, there you have it: cooking at home doesn’t have to be a necessary evil. It can be a fun and educational experience that benefits the whole family. If you need a little inspiration or a hand getting started, why not check out our meal boxes?
Photo by Elly Fairytale from Pexels
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