The benefits of cooking with children

The benefits of cooking with your child 


There are many benefits to cooking with children which is why Little Hands implements this into our teaching in all age groups. Each week we complete a ‘Cooking with Chloe’ session at our Stourbridge branch to extend children’s learning in all areas. 

Different aspects of cooking can affect many areas for example:

Communication and language development; talking about the different textures, smells and tastes can extend a child’s vocabulary and encourage talking in longer, more complex sentences; really boosting their communication back and forth from child to adult.

Personal, Social and Emotional development; cooking can encourage children to create a positive attitude and outlook on healthy eating and self hygiene, such as washing hands before cooking and understanding the reasoning for this. As a healthy eating setting with a Dudley Healthy Setting Gold Status this is something we like to promote to our children and extend whenever possible. 

Physical development; Cooking promotes the development of fine and gross motor movement such as the use of one handed tools, stirring with spoons and tipping and pouring ingredients can further develop these skills and hand-eye coordination.

Mathematical development; Using weighing scales to read numbers and amounts help develop a child’s mathematical skills. Cooking and baking can also encourage mathematical language such as discussing amounts and using language such as more than and less than. 

Understanding the World; Cooking with children can extend their learning through this area of development by exploring how different ingredients work, do some make the cooking sticky do some make things rise? Cooking can also develop the interest of where ingredients originate or grow from, if we could grow our own food and how we would take care of them.

Expressive arts and design; Cooking with children really develops the opportunity for creativity, trying different mixtures of flavours and an array of colours and designs. 

Literacy development; As children grow older cooking offers the opportunity to learn how to read text such as instructions and recipes and conveying these into actions. 



Throughout cooking children can learn to understand how to follow instructions and recipes, this allows children to take into account different actions and steps needed to achieve an end goal. Linking to this cooking is a great way to explain to children the results of their specific tasks offering specific changes, such as adding too many wet ingredients can make a mixture too runny, or too many dry ingredients can make a mixture too dry, this can then result in a different outcome for the end product. 


As children get involved with different cooking tasks they may find challenges and difficulties that we can encourage children to persist with and overcome, for example chopping up harder fruits might be difficult for some children, however regularly cooking gives children opportunities to persist with this skill. This can also encourage children to communicate with their adults when help is needed, and gives the opportunity for adults to role model behaviour and skills to children.


Cooking with your children at home can offer the experience for both yourself and the children to taste and experience different flavours and combinations. This helps children gain an idea of their palette and preference, their likes and dislikes. Cooking with children can give them the opportunity to organise themselves and their thoughts, creating a shopping list and planning their route to the shops for example. 


Cooking at home is a great learning opportunity around cleanliness for children, learning how germs work and what items we can use to clean up our mess. This also practises the routine of cleaning up messes made during an activity along with understanding the boundaries of the kitchen for children such as hot items. We can also explore what affect food has on our bodies, what foods are healthy? How calcium can help our bones and teeth? What foods give us energy?


Cooking brings a plethora of development opportunities including connection and relationship building between caregivers. Cooking/food preparation can be simple, with few ingredients and without the use of an oven. Children learn to trust their abilities, be proud of their skills in risk assessment and safe practices and make memories which could last a lifetime! 


Here’s a few healthy recipes you could give a try at home:


Banana bars 



100g rolled oats 

2 bananas 

1tsp cinnamon 



Instructions :

Simply mash your bananas.

Mix all ingredients together and place in a lined tin.

Bake the mixture 20-25 at 180 degrees.

Let cool, slice and enjoy.


Chickpea flat bread 



80g Chickpea flour 

1tbs paprika/ oregano (optional)

1/2 cup water

1tbs oil



Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.

Roll out to a dough 

Place in the air fryer at 180 degrees for 12 minutes, alternative fry in a pan for 6 minutes.


102-104 Brettell Lane, Amblecote, West Midlands, DY8 4BS

T: 01384 441441

Nursery Manager: Lara Owen & Bev Ramsell

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The Sunday School, 2 Chapel Street, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, B60 2BQ

T: 0121 820 7119

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Nursery Block Heart Of Worcestershire College School Drive Bromsgrove Worcestershire B60 1PQ

T: 0121 824 4697

Nursery Manager: Clare Fereday

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16-18 Hagley Road, Stourbridge, West Midlands, DY8 1PS

T: 01384 396920

Nursery Manager: Lara Owen & Lucy Brettle

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