I don’t know how dinner times are at your house, but at mine, things can be pretty chaotic. I have a 10-yr-old son, and in addition to running a business and teaching classes, I have to manage his after-school activities, homework, dinner, bath, and bedtime. In amongst all the running around, it’s sometimes hard for us to find time to hang out and chat about what’s going on with us–from school to work to what we should do on the weekend.
When I was growing up, we always had dinner together, but these days, it’s getting harder and harder for many families to do that. Yet research says that the family that cooks and eats together, sticks together.
Research has shown that families that cook and eat together on a daily basis enjoy:
- better mental, physical and social health
- better learning in school
- better, healthier, food choices, and less risk of developing health problems like obesity or eating disorders
- more “experimental” foods, expanding their horizons and palates
- a sense of fun and family connection, “togetherness.”
There are a lot of reasons to not allow your kids in the kitchen. I know I worry about my son making a mess, or hurting himself. But the truth is, cooking is a valuable skill for any kid to learn, and it will serve him well in life.
For kid-friendly recipes (recipes that kids will both want to eat and are simple enough that they can help out with), visit BetterTogetherBC.ca.
Better Together is also launching a cooking contest, called the #HandsOnCookOff. Film a three-minute video of you preparing a dish with your kids and submit it for the chance to win up to $1,000 in cash prizes! Find contest rules and regulations here, and the contest is currently open until May 15, 2014.