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How Well Can You Cook?

How Well Can You Cook?

Do you know how to cook broccoli? According to a poll conducted by Cook’s Illustrated magazine, 75 percent of the respondents said they didn’t know how to cook broccoli. As convenience foods and dining out lessen the demand for culinary literacy among adults, many children have caregivers who do not cook often, or cook only using bottles, boxes and cans, or, worse yet, do not know how to cook at all.  If so many adults do not know how to cook broccoli—let alone so many other foods—how will kids learn to cook?

Parents can no longer rely on the home economics classes that we remember with nostalgia to provide this essential food education.  Many schools have cut programs like these, while other schools have transformed sewing and cooking classes into family and consumer education classes, offering less time for hands-on cooking.  Instead, parents can plan their own curricula for teaching kids how to cook. Though it requires an investment of time, the dividends are well worth the effort.  Cooking sharpens cognitive skills, especially in reading and math, and allows children to practice concentration. Cooking promotes social skills as well, such as practicing patience and cooperation, so it is great to teach siblings or friends.

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