Why Cooking is Good for a Child’s Development

Learning how to cook is an important life skill and can support the development of numerous other skills. Starting at a young age can really help a child’s development, understanding of nutrition and overall enjoyment of the cooking and eating experience.

At St Peter’s Prep, we ensure our lunchtimes include balanced, nutritious food so your child stays energised throughout the day, along with providing cookery lessons and activities to ensure our pupils have the chance to learn about food and cooking in a practical way.

Discover the reasons why cooking is important for a child’s development.

Maths Skills

Cooking involves a lot more than meets the eye. When you teach a child how to cook you are also practising other core skills, such as numeracy and time management. Counting quantities and measuring ingredients are the perfect recipe for practising maths skills whilst preparing something delicious for dinner.

Timers, weighing scales and measuring jugs are all fantastic tools to incorporate number-based learning into cooking. The learning doesn’t have to stop when the cooking is over. You could even practise fractions when slicing up a pizza!

Fun bath-based activities for kids

Language Skills

Remember the first time you read a recipe? The language is very specific to ensure there’s no ambiguity about what steps need to be done in which order.

This not only teaches your child about chronology, it also introduces the ideas of imperatives. ‘Stir, mix, whisk and bake’ are all instructions which aim to guide us to creating our favourite dishes.

The language surrounding cooking is also useful for teaching children about quantifiers. You can ask your child ‘how much’ or ‘how many’ and begin to teach them about countable (apples) and uncountable (rice) nouns. Cooking has such rich linguistic possibilities!

Nutritional Education

Spending time preparing food teaches them about where food comes from and can help them develop an understanding of the nutritional value of each ingredient. Jamie Oliver is a strong advocate for empowering children and parents through cooking nutritious meals at home and at school.

At St Peter’s Prep we also know how important it is to learn about where our food comes from, so we run a gardening club from Reception to Year 2 to encourage children to learn about growing plants and vegetables. See our guide on the best gardening activities for children to see the benefits of spending time and growing your own food with your child firsthand.

Three St Peter's students in cookery class

Learn About New Cultures

Cooking can be a great gateway to other parts of the world. Cooking cuisines from across the globe at home can connect your sous-chef to new cultures and culinary styles.

Recreate some universally loved foods such as pizza, pasta, curry, noodles and sushi at home. Take the chance to learn about the tradition of each food, how it is prepared and traditionally eaten in each respective country.

If your child is learning a new language, you could even take the opportunity to test their skills by reading the ingredients in this language.


Remember, cooking doesn’t have to be a ‘serious’ pursuit all of the time. Sometimes experimenting with different combinations of ingredients, textures and tastes can lead to unexpected discoveries!

Consider buying fruit and vegetables that grow in different seasons to teach your child about the harvest and growing times of the year. Holidays and festivals throughout the year provide the chance to test out new recipes such as pumpkin soup, mince pies, hot cross buns or ice lollies!

Wanting to get the kids more involved in the kitchen? Explore more ideas on how to get your children into cooking.

For more information about our educational prospects, including our opportunities as a flexi boarding school in Devon, please call Rachel Elliott, Director of Admissions & Marketing, on 01395 280335 or email rachel.elliott@stpetersprepschool.co.uk.

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