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Invite Your Kids Into the Kitchen This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a great time to invite your kids into the kitchen to share the fun of cooking and learn something while doing it. My kids, who are now in their 30s, and I started doing this when they were small enough to sit on the big chopping block I had in the middle of my midwestern kitchen in the 70s. Today, it’s still a family tradition that my grandsons now join in.

While browsing one of my favorite cooking websites, epicurious.com, I found this great article about getting your young ones involved in the kitchen and the benefits of so doing. Here are some of their salient point. For the full story, go to  http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/everydaycooking/family/cookingwithkids

No matter how young or old your kids, sharing the preparation of a holilday feast gives you a greater sense of intimacy and makes them feel part of the process. When that meal gets taken to the table, their sense of pride in pulling it off is evident. For young learners, there are many lessons to be learned in math, science and reading. Also, preparing and eating dishes from other cultures fosters learning about other people, other languages and even geography. Last, and important in today’s environment, getting involved in food preparation helps kids develop healthy food choices and an appreciation for “real food.”

You can help your preschoolers develop their fine motor skills with activities such as pouring, stirring and measuring. Their math skills are aided by counting ingredients. Working as a team helps develop their social skills.

Older children benefit from learning how to increase or a decrease a recipe which teaches or reinforces multiplication or division skills. The basics of nutrition are picked up by menu preparation. Reading and leadership skills can be enhanced by reading recipes and leading others in the team as they execute them.

Remember that learning and fun can be one and take the opportunity to enjoy this holiday with your kids or grandkids so that everyone can enjoy both the process and the results.

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