Life skills are skills used in the activities we do. There are many skills involved in our daily routines which we often do without consciously thinking them. There are opportunities to learn life skills and develop these skills daily from the activites we are exposed to. A foundation of like skills prepares kids for independence and success in their business lives.
There are many life skills required and developed by planning, organizing, purchasing food, and preparing snacks & meals which are part of cooking. In addition, there are many learning outcomes such as; healthy eating habits, taking direction, creativity, working with others, safety and responsibility.
There are many technical skills in cooking such as; handling and storing food, handling knives, operating ovens, stoves and equipment such as blenders and many techniques to preparing and serving food.
There are many life skills used in cooking, but here are a few to consider and get you started in developing skills as you cook.
Finding a recipe or determining what is good and/or of interest to others, asking friends and family for ideas they have tried and like.
Understanding what you need to prepare food, budgeting food costs and scheduling of time commitments.
Considering what to purchase, price to pay and where to purchase the food from.
There are many skills for how to cut food, marinate, mix, heat, cool, store etc. There are many resources such as books, blogs, websites and videos to show you how to prepare food.
Safely is an important consideration for kids and anyone who touches and prepares food. There is a need to learn safety around a kitchen such as handling knives and equipment,
first aid procedures, operating a stove and oven and the safe handing of food.
Learning to take the necessary steps to ensure the product is good, cleaned, stored properly, preparation surfaces are cleaned and equipment is cleaned properly.
This is a fun part of cooking. Sampling and tasting to ensure the product tastes good. Everyone would like to be an official taster of food.
Creative Skill Development
There are many opportunities to be creative around food. You can create your own recipes or make improvements/changes to published recipes.
Time spent around food with others is a good time to develop social skills.
Cooking is a great activity to work with others. To learn to succeed with the help and expertise of others. To draw from the talent and experiences from others.
Marketing is the process of communicating the value of a product or service to customers for selling that product or service. In this case the people who each the food can be considered customers.
Every kid recalls words from their mom or dad to encourage them to try foods or eat what was put in front of them. We all recall these times.
There are opportunities to be creative by helping people understand what food is good for them and what they should be eating. We need a change in attitude to consider good food a treat vs. junk food. We need more education on avoiding foods such as gluten, sugar and processed foods. We need to understand the many food intolerances people may have and how food can effect our health.
There are many ways to promote what you cook. Parties and family get together are a good way to attract people, cultural and theme nights can be fun and educational.
Have some fun with thinking of ways to promote your creation – thinking about how you can convince people around the world to eat your food creation. Think of ways you would create awareness through social media.
A key skill is the ability to take responsibility for your actions and for tasks/jobs/activities. By learning to all aspects of cooking; kids will learn to take responsibility for each of the many steps to cooking – even cleaning up.
Cooking is a good way to develop entrepreneurial skills in thinking about business opportunities which can be created from you food creations, cooking equipment, restaurant and franchise possibilities.
Cooking is often considered one of the last skills to teach kids before college/university and for independence. Cooking is a good “strategy for parenting” to start early.
An element of cooking is the presentation of the food. There are many presentation skills to be learned from cooking which apply to other experiences.
Life skills – other
There are many other life skills developed through cooking. Here are a few more:
- Working on your own and with others.
- Following instructions.
- Learning good nutrition and eating habits.
- Learning good manors.
- Learning about other countries where foods are grown.
- Learning about health concerns from eating food such as sugar and how it is related to obesity.
- Interest and knowledge of food.