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The Power of Cooking

While there are a variety of ways to engage with your student, if you would like an idea that doesn’t involve texting or the newest social media app, may we suggest cooking?

Regardless of age, cooking can be fun. Whether it's an 11-year-old making tacos for her family, or a 3-year-old working hard to construct his first peanut butter and jelly sandwich, learning to cook at an early age is an extremely useful experience. Cooking builds math and science skills, broadens vocabulary, bolsters confidence, heightens creativity, promotes good common sense and improves fine motor skills. Sodexo recognized the benefits of cooking several years ago and developed the Future Chefs Challenge to stoke the culinary fire in our elementary students, allowing them to create dishes based on specific themes each year to compete with other students for local, regional and possibly even national prizes. The popularity of this event grows with each passing year, proving that the culinary arts are relevant with the young.

Cooking is typically an individual art, but collaboration adds a whole new element. When done as an activity together, cooking can also create a bond between you and your child or teenager, giving you the opportunity to not only teach good nutrition, increase knowledge of other cultures, expand palates and demonstrate proper food safety, but also engage in genuine, productive conversation with your child/teen, a rarity these days for many families.

It's true… there is a downside to cooking and baking. They can prove messy and sometimes disappointing, like when that first cake comes out of the oven looking more like a bowl of soup or a large crater.  Even in those failures, however, we teach valuable lessons. Life won't always give you the perfect pasta fresca or chicken chili, but we clean up our mess, start the recipe over and try again, until we get it right. And, perhaps most importantly, we ask for assistance when needed, and what better way to provide for our children than to offer them that helping hand as they learn to become more independent, build character and make their way in the kitchen…and this big world.

Learn more about Sodexo’s Future Chefs Challenge.

March 03, 2020

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Sodexo USA

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