My son and I have done a lot of cooking together over the years. Sometimes it’s a goofy meal like colorful pancakes, while other times it’s a treat like Nutella cupcakes. Usually, it’s simple meals he and I can make together at the end of the day. I think teaching kids to cook is important for so many reasons.
Are you following my Cooking with Kids Pinterest board?
why teaching kids to cook is important
The teacher in me feels the need to point out how much children learn through cooking, to start with! Here are just some of the concepts cooking and baking can teach the kiddos:
- Number identification
- Addition and subtraction
- Multiplication and division
- Sensory exploration and descriptions
- Reading and writing
I really could go on and on, but I think that list is long enough for now. Teaching kids to cook and bake allows room for teaching a variety of subject areas and concepts. Since most children I know like food (well, at least some food), it’s a fun way to incorporate learning.
In my opinion, teaching kids to cook is important for reasons that go beyond the educational. First and foremost, it’s time spent with my son without any other distractions. It’s just him, me, and whatever recipe we’ve decided to conquer that day. We talk about anything and everything in a safe, comfortable environment – I love the random conversations we end up in! In addition to quality time, I also know I’m teaching my son a skill. It’s something he can, and will, use as he gets older.
a #OnePanPronto recipe from my son
My son’s 8, and I’ve been encouraging him to create some simple meals on his own (with me as backup, of course). He’s been a bit hesitant, but decided he wanted to try something recently. We grabbed a box of Barilla® Pronto™ penne while at Kroger last week, and that ended up being the basis for his recipe. He and I both liked that we could easily put a meal together with just one pan (and no draining the pasta).
We looked up some Barilla® Pronto™ recipes with my phone while we were shopping. There were a lot to choose from, and he just didn’t know which to pick. Then we discovered Barilla® Pronto™ recipe-builder! It laid out ideas for putting together different recipes in a straight-forward, easy way. He picked what ingredients he wanted, and we were off!
When we got back from Kroger, he was excited to write up “his” recipe and get started! We taped his recipe up in the kitchen, then I acted as sous-chef as we made dinner. I loved seeing his excitement and enthusiasm for making dinner! It took us less than 15 minutes to make from start to finish, and I think it was delicious. Even better, the kiddo thought so too – he even went back for seconds.
Here’s his recipe, in case you’re interested –
1 box Barilla® Pronto™ Penne
2 red bell peppers
1 jar Barilla® marinara sauce
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Note that this can all be done in one pan, with no stopping to drain water! Add the penne to a skillet, along with about 3 cups of water (just enough to cover the pasta). Cook on high heat, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes. Add diced bell peppers to the pan and continue stirring for another minute or so. Then add the pasta sauce and cook for another minute or two until the pasta is the right consistency. Once everything’s to the chef’s liking, pull off the stove and serve. I added cheese to my serving, but the kiddo decided against it at the last minute.
I think this little episode of “teaching kids to cook” was a success at house – one pan to clean, easy to make, done in less than 15 minutes, and delicious! What are some recipes you and your kiddos enjoy making together?
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Barillo. The opinions and text are all mine.