How Cooking Can Help Parents and Kids Bond


Usually cooking and kids don’t go hand in hand. There are sharp knives, hot pans, and sometimes small kitchens that make it hard to have a group going all at once. But with summer on the horizon and BBQs, picnics, and many more poolside activities coming up (that all focus on delicious food), it’s a great time to think about getting the kids involved. Cooking with your children offers up many potential bonding and learning moments, so don’t shy away from the idea. We have a few tips for how to cook with kids of all ages.

Source: Flickr, Rachel Tayse

Source: Flickr, Rachel Tayse

Benefits of Cooking with Kids

Why would you want to cook with your kids? Well, it’s a great chance to talk to your kids about family history. When you pull out that weathered recipe card of your grandmother’s apple pie or green bean casserole, talk to your child about the grandmother. Share the family stories and your own memories of what life was like for you growing up. This can be particularly beneficial for adoptive parents whose child is growing up and becoming curious about family members, family history, and their own personal story. Use the recipes as a way to talk about traditions and create a chance for your child to ask questions and show you what they are curious about.

Parenting Help

Cooking isn’t just for stories, either. It’s a great parenting help, too! When kids help prepare food, they are more likely to eat it later on. So if you have a picky eater, make sure and have them snap green beans, peel potatoes, or sprinkle the brown sugar on the sweet potatoes. Any involvement will increase their interest and make them want to taste it later on. So while you bond over stories, you encourage your child to take an interest in their food and even learn about measuring, sharing, counting, and science, too!

Source: Flickr, Rachel Tayse

Source: Flickr, Rachel Tayse

Cooking with Young Children

There’s something for a child of any age, too, so long as you do a little planning. Preschoolers learn a lot from watching, so let them see how dishes come together and if they can feel, taste, and even play with some food parts go ahead and let them enjoy. Down the road, this may pay off when you try to introduce new foods to your child.

Cooking with Teens

We all know the occasional sullenness of teenagers who would rather be on their phones than participate in the family meal. If you are facing such a teen this year, consider letting them pick a favorite dish to have so long as they do some of the prep work. That will help keep them in the kitchen and talking.

This spring and summer, enjoy some family bonding over cooking let it turn into a family tradition that you can all savor.


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Steffany ave

Founder & Director

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Meet Steffany Aye, the heart behind Adoption & Beyond since its inception in 1998. Fueled by a deep passion for supporting both birth and adoptive parents, Steffany's journey as an adoptive parent has continued the foundation for this non-profit adoption agency.

Drawing from more than 25 years of dedicated experience, Steffany and her team are committed to crafting warm, thriving families through child-centered adoptions. Their inclusive services, free from any form of discrimination, reflect Steffany's unwavering dedication to the beautiful tapestry of adoption.

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