Chef Paul Desiano shares his thoughts on cooking with children -
Cooking with children builds a level of camaraderie and agelessness that's hard to find in other day-to-day activities within the household. Cooking together encourages real, effortless conversation with children that I often find difficult as a parent. Simple topics like, "How was your day?" often grow into something much more. Whether it's asking them to simply peel a carrot, tear lettuce, or something more involved, an immediate bond is formed by a common goal.
I believe cooking is an essential life skill, and the more we practice the more confident we become. It's not uncommon for small tasks like peeling a carrot to morph into children cooking an entire meal for the family by age 9 or 10. I believe this is where the real magic happens! Children can see the fruits of their labor and tangible, real-life applications from classroom lessons in reading and math. Perhaps though, it's the part they don't see that's the most important - self-esteem, imagination, patience, independent thinking, creativity, problem solving, and discovery are all highlighted while in the kitchen cooking. And if that wasn't enough, how about the simple idea of a day off from having to cook dinner? Bon appétit!