I just picked up cooking recently, at the ripe, old age of 33. Surprisingly, it’s actually quite therapeutic and I regretted not learning earlier, even though I had been living abroad by myself for so many years. And it dawned upon me- parents should cook with their children too as there’s so many benefits of cooking.
1. Bonding with your child
Both of you are on a mission together. You get to act as a mentor to him or if you are new to cooking, both of you can discover the joy together. There’s no other way to boost your relation than when you are a team. Plus it’s in the comfort of your own home, you don’t have to beat the crowd and sweat with a million other people in tiny Singapore.
2. Learning His Food
To be honest, I used to eat without knowing my food. I couldn’t tell the difference between my scallions and chives . It was really tough when I shopped at the wet market as I couldn’t explain what I wanted. Knowing your ginger, garlic and star anise, it hones the child’s curiosity and also his general knowledge.
In the process you can also explain the science behind cooking. Nothing beats getting a child interested in their studies through practical lessons like these. When you cook the rice, you can explain how the rice is formed, why there’s steam from the cooker and what evaporation s all about.
4. Cultivating Patience
In fact, cooking is not just Science but also an art by itself- the ability to grasp the taste, the smell and the layout of the dish takes hard work. Patience is needed because there’s a lot of trials and errors in cooking. The soup may be too bland- add some salt! The rice is too soggy- turn it into porridge. You teach your dear son and daughter that mistakes are inevitable and there’s ways to get around them. If a first batch of cookies may not be satisfactory, do a second round. Practice makes perfect. These are values that you can teach your child while you cook!
Last but not least, you can prepare your beloved son or daughter for independence. 🙂 Being able to cook for oneself is a valuable skill for life. It’s always healthier and cheaper to eat at home. Being able to cook may also aid your child’s pursuit of his/her beau when he/she grows up. 😉
So maybe you should grab the grocery bag now and head to the supermarket with the kid this long weekend. Who knows- he may be the next Master Chef Junior!
Wei is a financial journalist who has recently started a Facebook site with his buddy to answer PSLE queries. He tries to learn a new dish every week and dreams of opening his own restaurant after retirement.