What skill can be fun, keep you healthy, enhance your creativity, impress your boss or friends, and bond a family? Cooking! And you don’t have to wait until you’re an adult to learn this lifelong skill – in fact the earlier you learn it the greater the benefits. So, when you’re trying to decide on a type of camp for kids, consider a cooking school. Here are just 5 reasons why cooking schools tick all the boxes:
The more exposure that kids have to quality home-cooked foods, the more likely they are to choose this type of food as an adult. We all know that fast food tends to be high in saturated fats, salt and sugar, but even food from up-market restaurants can focus mainly on taste with little consideration of health. At a healthy cooking camp your child can learn to prepare dishes with fresh healthy ingredients and experience a diet that can lower their risk of many diseases including heart disease, stroke, and some cancers. And they’ll soon learn that healthy food can taste better too!
Cooking is a hands-on activity that introduces kids to other real-world skills that can be useful throughout their lives. Following simple recipes can improve reading skills, while measuring out ingredients and working out timings can enhance their mathematics abilities. Learning about dishes from around the world can even be a fun geography lesson! Cooking is a lifelong skill that crosses many disciplines and can improve a child’s knowledge, independence and self-confidence.
We aren’t born knowing instinctively how to use a knife and fork – it takes time to learn how to use them skilfully. But an added benefit of this learning process is that it improves our fine motor skills. Equally, it’s really important that kids learn how to use knives, stoves and other kitchen equipment as early as possible, to help ensure that they know how to operate safely in this environment. Obviously this learning must always be done with adult supervision and age-appropriate equipment.
The boom in cooking challenge programmes such as ‘Masterchef’ has shown us how cooks can take creativity to unbelievable levels. But even beginner chefs can start to experiment with the colours, flavours and ‘design’ of their dishes. Indeed, budding artists might find that food is the perfect ‘canvas’ to show off their creativity even when creating simple meals. And an added benefit of your little one attending a cooking school for kids is that they’ll be expressing their creativity in the physical world, away from the screens that are so all-pervasive today.
Taste for adventure
There’s a lot of truth in the old adage ‘variety is the spice of life’. Cooking can expose kids to a host of new tastes and textures, giving them a sense of adventure when trying new cuisines. It can also help develop a growth mindset in which kids are confident and curious enough to try other new experiences. And scientific research suggests that our
‘microbiome’, the essential microbes that live within our bodies, play a bigger role in our health than we’d ever imagined. And, in line with that old adage, it’s now believed that the greater variety of food that we eat, the healthier and more diverse our microbiome will be.
Still not convinced? Why not sign up for a trial at a cooking camp and see what your kids think. You might get to try the dishes they created and, you never know, they might even discover a new family favourite!