G1 is exploring a new curricular activity this term – Baking. I heartily encouraged this choice because I think every child should learn how to cook because cooking is an essential life skill. Yes, I realise that baking is only a small part of cooking, but you have to start somewhere. How else do you get a child to be interested if you don’t make it fun at first?
One might argue that cooking skills in this day and age are no longer essential. The convenience of going out to eat or buying pre-packaged meals that cook when you press a few buttons on your microwave has effectively eliminated this need. But rather than crossing off another skill we apparently no longer need, I felt concerned about what it might mean in terms of making good food choices. How will our children understand the nutritional value of what they are eating if we don’t take them back to the basics of what goes into each food item they eat? Teaching our children how to prepare food for consumption is one way to increase their awareness of what they’re eating.
When children learn how to prepare their own food, they develop an appreciation for the people who prepare food for them. Perhaps we might even see less of these obnoxious individuals in restaurants ranting about the preparation of food they wouldn’t know how to cook themselves.
Cooking also doubles up to help develop a whole set of other skills, like:
- fine motor skills – rolling, kneading, folding
- artist expression and creativity – cake decorating, food presentation
- memory – recipe recall
- math – measuring of ingredients
- safety awareness – handling hot items, operating ovens and stoves (okay, I was told that the children don’t really get to handle the hot stuff but they’ll eventually get there)
Now let me show off some of the stuff my son has made for us so far…
For his first session, he made cupcakes and decorated them. Look carefully and you might be able to see that it’s a fish… or a smiley face – depending on which way you look at it.
He made cornflakes cookies in his second session, but I didn’t get a picture of it because he ate them all.
His most recent creation was a mini rainbow cake:
While we’re on the topic of “healthier” eating, join us over at The Undomestic Goddess where we try very hard to make it easy to eat a little healthier…