As more and more emphasis is placed these days on eating whole foods and having meals at home, some people may be eager to embrace this home-cooking lifestyle, but aren’t sure where to begin. After decades of eating gourmet food out at restaurants and heating up frozen dinners at home, many families just don’t know how to cook. Or their knowledge of cooking may be flawed – perhaps they think that cooking means hours of elaborate preparation and expensive grocery shopping trips.
So teaching our children to cook helps prepare them for the future. Giving them these skills may help prevent them from getting stuck when necessity or principles call them to cook their own food.
Here are some other reasons why it’s a good idea to teach your children to cook.
Do the Math
It’s nearly impossible to cook without doing some math. Whether you’re cutting a whole recipe in half or just measuring out cups of flour, it’s a great way to give your kids a jump-start on math skills. Cooking may help children see that math has a practical application in the real world – perhaps they’ll see that it’s not as abstract as they think!
An Anti-Obesity Weapon
In the US and Europe, obesity among children has become problematic, even being called an obesity epidemic by some. Teaching children to cook encompasses such vital information as nutritional content, food preparation, and calorie information.
Many children (and many adults, too!) simply don’t know how to prepare healthy food, or prepare foods in healthy ways. For instance, if they are not taught proper cooking skills, kids may think that the only way to prepare potatoes is in the form of greasy fries. Learning to cook, they can pick up important information and skills, such as how to make oven fries, and/or how to incorporate sweet potatoes in various dishes as well as white potatoes.
Teaching children to cook is a powerful learning experience, yet children do not necessarily feel like they’re learning anything major. After all, learning to cook can be a lot of fun. The lessons are big, though – children who know how to cook understand what goes into food preparation. They may have a better idea of the fact that food doesn’t just happen.
As your children learn to cook, they are learning a powerful tool to take control of their own health. It’s been said that your food can be your medicine, and if your children learn how to prepare foods, they can give their body just what it needs nutritionally, both now and in the future.
Photo by f_mafra
Some guys I know don’t consider cooking a worthwhile venture. Besides the occasional stint behind the grill, they’d rather bask in blissful ignorance than feed themselves in more than 3 steps: stab, chew, swallow.
But ask any woman (or man that already knows how) why it is better to be a kitchen savvy dude and you’ll start to see what these guys are missing.
Whether it’s because they think it takes too much time, too much effort or wrongly assume it’s a woman’s job, men who never learn to cook are losing a huge opportunity to take their man skills to the next level.
8 Reasons Regular Guys Should Learn To Cook
1. Chicks dig it
There isn’t a woman alive immune to a man who can make her a delicious meal. Step up to the plate boys, we’re begging you.
2. Life skills are manly
You can fix your car, hunt wild animals and build a camp fire. Shouldn’t you know how to feed yourself without a drive-thru?
3. You’ll save money
Though there’s a good chance you’re single if you never learned to cook (see point #1), a home cooked meal is a much cheaper date night (or singles night) than dinner for two at Chez Fancy—particularly with the 150% wine mark up common at most restaurants.
4. It’s faster than going out
Fancy date meals aside, cooking at home is almost always faster than going out—so long as you know what you’re doing. Once you have a few basic skills down, you can stop wasting your time in fast food spots simply because you don’t know what else to eat.
5. Guy Fieri shouldn’t be better than you at anything
Food Network star Guy Fieri has bad hair, bad clothes and douchey sunglasses, but the dude knows how to cook. Are you going to let him upstage you like that? Of course you aren’t.
6. Your puppy (aka girl magnet) will eat better
My notoriously adorable puppy Toaster loves salad scraps (sugar snap peas are his favorite), eggs, meats, fish, and pretty much anything else we’re willing to share. A balanced diet is as good for dogs as it is for people (just don’t give them onions, garlic or grapes).
7. You might lose weight
Cooking is one of the easiest ways to improve your diet and stick to reasonable portions. This is a recipe for weight loss, if you’re willing to swallow it.
8. You might like it
Cooking is relaxing, fun, creative, purposeful and, hopefully, delicious. Why wouldn’t you want to add this skill to your tool belt?
Why do you guys like to cook?
Originally published June 6, 2011.