All Foodies love talking about food as well as eating! I could spend hours discussing favourite meals and analysing menus in restaurants. We probably don’t realise how much time we spend thinking and talking about food on a daily basis, but being an essential part of every day, we think and talk about it an awful lot! This idea got me thinking about how much language is involved in cooking and how much children benefit from this. When you cook with kids, they are being exposed to a huge amount of new vocabulary – from naming new ingredients and equipment, to using a really wide range of verbs, many of which they may not hear out of a cooking context, e.g. mash, beat, whisk, are fairly specific to cooking.
Vocabulary aside, cooking also encourages children to discuss and explain their own tastes and preferences for food – they use describing words to talk about the taste, smell and texture of food and they learn to give reasons for their opinions. In our classes, we often ask children to explain why we are doing something, for example, ‘why are we holding the butter in our hands?’. Many of children can now offer an explanation for this – ‘because it will make the butter melt’. We are so proud when they start making these links and explaining them!