Infant nutrition

Why we should teach children to cook at home and eat as a family


The Mediterranean culture has one of its most important pillars in the kitchen and in the act of cooking. Unfortunately, the lack of time in the busy lives of adults constitutes one of the difficulties that are most influencing the negative change in eating habits in Spain. However, cook at home and eat as a family they are traditions that we should not lose for many reasons.

The benefits of homemade food They are known for everything, but it is worthwhile that we stop for a moment to think about it, and that is that the food prepared at home is, as a general rule, healthier and more nutritious, as well as much cheaper.

Also, cooking at home we expose our children to the family traditions of our family nucleus, since not all houses eat or cook dishes in the same way. On the other hand, cooking at home We choose the foods that we want to include in our children's diet, in addition to selecting the way to cook them.

Finally, in children who eat regularly as a family, according to statistics, trends in healthier intakes are observed. These children usually choosing fruits, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates to the detriment of industrial pastries or salty snacks.

Cooking together since childhood also has an incredible effect on children's attitudes towards food:

- Cooking at home It involves a lot of planning, of course, but together with our children, we can draw up a shopping list - practicing writing and learning about different foods - or prepare a menu calendar - listening to our children's ideas and involving them in small decisions .

- Cook together It is not boring at all, quite the opposite, although it is true that it can be slower and more cumbersome. Depending on the age of the child, washing or cutting vegetables can be an ideal job, in addition to being able to help with the meatballs or croquettes, they love to get their hands dirty!

- For children who are bad eaters, participating in the elaboration of the menus, in the purchase or in the cooking, can increase food appeal that they had no intention of testing before.

Having time to cook added to the need to plan in advance to elaborate traditional menus is not easy, but, if we return to our roots of the Mediterranean diet, so complete and balanced and so full of fresh and seasonal foods, we will raise awareness among our children of the importance of maintaining proper eating habits that will last into adulthood.

And we have talked a lot about the importance of family cookingBut what about eating that delicious thing that we have prepared in the kitchen as a family? What does it mean for the family bond? Eating together, the whole family, sitting at the table, is quality time for parents and children:

- With the start of the supplementary feeding, Eating as a family allows the baby to observe the chewing movements, as well as to teach him how to use the cutlery. Although it may be implausible, the fact of observing a parent - or a brother, of course - consume the same foods that he has in front of him, also shows him to differentiate what is safe to eat and what is not.

- Eating together is an example. In addition to teaching children good table manners, eating together allows the child to observe the adult's attitude towards different foods and imitate it, so, better not put weird faces at the table!

- Eating together supposes, especially as the children get older, an ideal opportunity to enjoy family time, to share day-to-day activities and to nurture and facilitate communication between parents and children.

- According to sociological studies carried out, These communication bonds that are established at mealtime are vital in adolescence. Statistically, adolescents who eat and have eaten regularly as a family are less inclined towards the consumption of alcohol, tobacco or drugs, in addition to having healthier eating habits than others who do not eat as a family.

- It allows to include family activities in the daily routine, like a soccer game or a movie outing. Also, for a child who is used to having dinner as a family, it is not difficult to understand that we have to eat a little later if Dad has not come from work and we will not have to resort to unhealthy snacking.

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