Kids do love to cook

It’s not hard to figure out that if parents cook, their children will, too.

But local food and health experts take it a step further, saying kids who eat dinner at home with their families reap the benefits of more than just a tasty meal. Girls, in particular, seem to have less trouble in childhood when they share the experience of cooking with their parents.

“Kids actually have a better vocabulary. Girls have better self esteem and don’t get involved in risky behavior,” said Cynthia Sims, who taught home economics at Miller Middle School for 27 years before retiring last year. “Cooking at home and eating as a family are way up there with good social skills and good manners and everything that goes along with being a contributing young person.”

And to the surprise of many of their parents, children love to cook. It gives them a practical skill they can be proud of, not to mention show off to their parents and siblings. They ask to learn how to make everything from a good steak to a soufflé.

“It’s social, its practical, a lot of these kids will be off on their own and they’ll have to fend for themselves,” said Lauren Slaff, a culinary arts instructor at Durango High School. “It will save them from eating a lot of crap.”

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