Our custard pies turned out so delicious yesterday! We made three pies, which was enough for the entire school to have a small slice. This was definitely a fun Friday activity – but, more than that, it was a very hands-on and meaningful way to experience a little culture of the time and place we are studying.
Why else should we cook with kids? Oh, the benefits are many:
We learn about the importance of cleanliness and food safety. You aren’t allowed to cook without first washing hands with soap!
Children practice working cooperatively when cooking together. Yesterday, each pie needed 4 eggs, and some groups had 5 children. Hmmm, how are we going to work this out? How long should each child get to whisk?
Children practice math and measurement skills. Our recipe called for 2 cups of milk, but we only had a ¼ cup measure. How can we figure out how many times to fill the measure? Other math skills include counting, fractions, sorting, sequencing, weighing and problem solving.
Science concepts are introduced as well – making predictions, experimentation, how food changes while cooking, and sensory exploration.
We also learn to identify and accept personal food preferences. We had both our homemade pie and a store-bought vegan pumpkin custard pie. Most had a small slice of each to compare, some only had the vegan version, and a couple kids didn’t want to try either. Nearly all the children who tried the pie loved it, though, and I know they are anxious to cook again.