Brain Building Recipes for Kids
Are you ready to whip up some wonder, boil up some brilliance and simmer some science? Your kitchen may not look like a traditional science lab, but recent studies by some serious scientists have shown that cooking has real developmental and cognitive benefits for children. Here are three great reasons to try our recipes for kids.
Children who cook are children who eat
Last year, the University of Copenhagen conducted a major review of the common strategies employed to encourage children to eat healthily. The team’s conclusion? Begging and bribing is counterproductive, but “hands-on approaches such as gardening and cooking programs encourage greater vegetable consumption and may have a larger effect compared to nutrition education.” Balabalaboomboom!
Cooking up brain food
Cooking and chatting go together like Zim and Zam. As you explain the recipe to your mini master chef, you use a whole word of new words to describe the ingredients, actions, smells and tastes. It turns out, you are not only baking cake but brain power too.
This year, clever cognitive scientists at MIT found that engaging children in natural conversations like these has a far bigger impact on brain development than “dumping words” on them.
Studying 4 to 6 year olds, the team found that a large proportion of the differences in their brain physiology and language skills could be accounted for by the number of “conversational turns” (or back and forth exchanges) they had experienced with an adult.
The gap remained even after parental income or education had been factored in. So, whip up some words!
Cooking is STEAM learning (literally!)
At OKIDO, we are wild about STEAM learning (that’s science, technology, engineering, art and maths). When you mix all these ingredients together, magic happens. And where better than the kitchen?
Baking is an art, but what makes your cake rise? Science, of course! Baking powder contains both bicarbonate of soda and cream of tartar. The carbon dioxide in bicarbonate of soda reacts with the acid in cream of tartar when it gets wet, producing bubbles and… tada! Your cake rises up.
Then there’s the weighing, the counting, estimating and sorting… all great maths practice with the added motivation of a freshly bake cake to munch on at the end. Much yummier than Messy’s favourite dish… old socks.
Monster Bread Rolls Recipe
What you will need:
- 500g strong bread flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 sachet of dried yeast
- 2 tsp sugar
- 300 ml warm water
1. Dissolve yeast and sugar in the water, then add the flour, oil and salt. Mix together into a dough.
2. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic (about 30 kneading movements).
3. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a bowl.
4. Cover with a clean, damp cloth and leave it to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour.
5. After the dough has risen, flatten it. Give the dough another knead.
6. Create roll shapes.
7. Make some tiny balls and press two firmly on each roll shape for ears.
8. Cook at 200 degrees centigrade for 20 minutes. Then remove from the oven and leave to cool on a rack.
9. Draw faces with an icing tube on each roll!
Eat your mini monster rolls with butter, cheese or jam… Yummy!