Next week is Mental Health Awareness Week. What better opportunity to pay attention to how our children think and feel about themselves and the world around them?
Here at The Veggienauts Club, we’re in the business of making food fun for kids and less fraught for parents, because we believe that it’s so more than just fuel. Establishing a good relationship with and having agency in what we eat from an early age can lay healthy foundations for the rest of our lives.
Can cooking improve your child’s mental health? We think so. Here are just some of the ways how.
Choosing a meal to make themselves, helping to chop or mix ingredients and serving it up can give children a sense of control and real feeling of pride, achievement and confidence in their abilities.
On the flip side, recipes don’t always go to plan. And that’s ok. For children who have a fear of failure, it’s important to see that mistakes can happen. Mistakes are often the best way to learn and problem solve.
Explore every sense
Cooking is an activity which involves all of our senses simultaneously. Children can touch, taste and feel ingredients, learn about how they react in a social situation and develop their identity by expressing likes and dislikes.
Stepping away from screens and into the kitchen is a wonderful way to bring families together, share stories and make memories.
Food and body positivity
Cooking together is a wonderful way to promote healthy eating for pleasure. If we feel confident in and comfortable with what we're putting into our bodies, hopefully we can feel more confident about our bodies themselves.
Getting in touch with nature
Less focus on labels, more focus on real foods, thinking about where they come from, maybe even growing their own, can give children a real connection with our planet.
Baking is often described by grown ups as ‘therapy’ but children can reap the benefits too. Getting messy, using their bodies to chop, mix or roll and tasting ingredients in a pressure free environment are all wonderful ways to relieve physical and mental tension.
Mental health issues are often something we associate with older children or young adults, but emotional well-being is just as important as physical health at any age. Cooking together is a wonderful, simple way to support both.
For happy recipes and activities to share with your little one, check out our vegetable discovery subscription boxes.