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Why We are Teaching Our Five Year Old to Cook

For the longest time, my husband would come home and start cooking alone. He is a MUCH better cook than me. He really likes to take his time. He makes salsa from scratch. Guacamole from real avocados and tomatoes. He loves the preciseness of all the flavors put together.

For me, I just love to get the kids fed and done with the day. Having to think of a fancy meal at the end of my day is the last thing from my mind. I’ll do the crockpot and have it cook all day, but to ask me to make my own spaghetti sauce and meatballs fried by hand- no way Jose’.

After a my daughter turned five, I suggested that my husband starts cooking with my daughter. I made it part of her school chart. Along with math, history, Spanish, reading, music, art, science, exercise, housework and handwriting, cooking is one of the categories now.

Cooking lessons has also given my husband a reason to spend time with my daughter after he gets home from work all day. Usually, he cooks and I watch the kids some more. But now, he gets to spend time with just her.

When my daughter and husband cook, they are doing something together. They are creating and making together. It’s like my husband’s form of art.

I know that cooking also helps her to connect good eating habits with good, healthy food. A lot of times, when kids don’t cook, they don’t realize where food comes from, how it’s made and how it’s good or bad for us.

I can tell her that vegetables are good for her all day, but until she shreds carrots and sees how they work in a meal- there will be a disconnect on how eating vegetables can be interesting and fun.

My kids usually don’t like vegetables. What kid actually does? But for some reason, when my daughter started “cooking lessons” with dad, she started being more interested in how flavors work together.

At first, she whined and complained about having to do things like: plucking off cilantro by hand, or shredding cabbage. But at the end, she was excited to taste the new flavors.

Normally, avocados would gross her out, but now since she makes the guacamole from actual avocados and she gets to taste it fresh with a chip- then it’s like a whole new experience. She was turned off by refried beans, but because she saw that we add guacamole and cheese in ours, she was willing to try it too!

At the end of the meal, my daughter was able to see how her helping brought together a whole meal. Mmm… it was so delicious! I praised her for all the ways that she helped. She beamed when I told her that her cabbage-lime dressing and homemade guac was awesome- and it was!


How do you teach your children to cook and prepare food?

I would love to hear from you!


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