The dinner table has always been the centre of the home, allowing families much-needed quality time together. Parents get to catch up about a hard day’s work and find out what their little ones learned at school or who they are spending their time with.
The global pandemic turned the world on its head. People were asked to stay indoors and for the first time in a long time to spend uninterrupted time with loved ones. The increased home time unearthed many “top chefs” around the world with people sharing their favourite meals, trying new recipes, and finally learning how to make that age-old, traditional family recipe they just never got around to trying. And it was a family affair with mom, dad, aunt, uncle, caregivers, and children joining in on the fun.
No one is more excited about this shift than MAGGI, by using their cooking aids like MAGGI Lazenby and MAGGI Noodles the food brand is encouraging South Africans to continue to taste more by driving cooking inclusivity and opening up the kitchen to anyone who has always wanted to cook or has never tried cooking before.
Beyond providing a fun-filled activity for the whole family to get involved in, cooking a meal at home means you will know what is in your meal and can maintain a more balanced diet including fruits and vegetables. Apart from creating a balanced meal together there is also the quality time spent completing tasks together as a team, and the psychosocial benefits for the little ones. It has been noted by experts that guided activities in the kitchen develop many sides of a child’s personality:
• Observation – Kids watch everything we do. When a parent or caregiver shows an activity like cutting, cooking, mixing, or kneading, it is fascinating for them, and they tend to observe closely. Kids are keen learners, and they learn through observation which aids their concentration improvement. Good observation skills are preliminary for learning and development.
• Teamwork – For children, working in a team is an important skill to learn at a young age. For instance, if a parent asks the child to peel the potatoes or arrange vegetables in a tray, the child will ask questions at every step, and the two will work in coordination to complete the task.
• Fine Motor Skills – Holding things, passing something in the kitchen, tearing leaves or other food items, and decorating cupcakes are activities that develop fine motor skills and improve hand-eye coordination.
Children learn by touching, tasting, seeing, feeling and listening. When we cook, all our five senses are engaged. Cooking is a multisensory engagement, and this is what makes the experience so memorable.
Cooking together as a family should not be a daunting task. Involving children in the kitchen provides creative and emotional bonding time that you can cherish forever, and MAGGI will be there every step of the journey as an ally in the kitchen to inspire great food experiences and memories together.
As we kick off the new year with no certainty of when the lockdown will come to an end, we encourage you to huddle your tribe and head for the kitchen, try that dish you have been procrastinating, create lasting memories with your family and start your very own family food traditions.