Are There Benefits to Cooking as a Family?

There are some amazing benefits when cooking and eating together as a family. It is something NE Iowa Food and Fitness Early Childhood encourages through our Family Cooking activities.

 Maybe you hold warmhearted memories cooking with your grandparents or parents. Don’t you want those wonderful memories for your children? Fast food and microwave meals won’t create warm memories or life skills.


Research shows that cooking and eating together increases family relationships, gratitude, life skills and increases those warmhearted memories of family. Cooking your meals together increases your family’s health; it is an engaging social activity and an excellent developmental activity for small children. They can help do all kinds of things like sorting, following instructions, measuring, colors and textures, smells and tastes. And in a family setting, all kids can benefit from social development, communicating, sharing, and managing tasks, planning, problem-solving, even playing, and so much more.


There is a special kind of bonding that moves in us when the whole family is in the kitchen together. I know, whenever we have a family meal at our home, everyone hangs out in the kitchen.  It seems comforting to people. Everyone connects and is willing to pitch in and help in the process (Well most of the time).


When we are all in the kitchen together there seems a sense of gratitude. When everyone and especially little ones have the opportunity to help with the process of preparing the meal they aren’t as fussy and are likely to taste what they have helped create.


All this leads to the teachable opportunities; how to use kitchen tools, how to measure, how to converse with others, how to be part of a team.


I challenge you to cook together more often with your family, try new foods, talk about your day and create those warmhearted memories to keep forever. It will help your children and your health.


If you are interested in how NE Iowa Food and Fitness Early Childhood can help you with a Family Cooking activity, please contact me at or Rachel Sandhorst at

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