Mastering Social & Emotional Learning in the Kitchen (HPC:E16)

Did you know 50% of employers are having trouble finding qualified people to take the good career jobs they have open? It’s not technical skills or education…applicants are lacking communication, adaptability, decision-making, and problem-solving skills needed to do the job well.

Find out how to expand your child’s brain and balance their independence in the kitchen with social and emotional learning. We’ll walk through the 5 core competencies from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) and how they ALL play out through cooking!

Learn why fostering your child’s social and emotional learning can have a big impact on their academics and confidence in this episode of the Healthy Parenting Connector!

The 5 core competencies:

1. Self-awareness
2. Self-management
3. Social awareness
4. Relationship skills
5. Responsible decision-making

No time to watch the whole video? Here are the notes!

CASEL Video Time Stamps

  • 0:16: I was recently introduced the idea of social and emotional learning through the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). This organization works with schools to foster social and emotional learning to boost academic learning.

FREE DOWNLOAD: 3 Ways to Build Brain Resilience

  • 0:38: Did you know half of employers are having trouble filling their qualified positions. The problem is not that young adults don’t have the education and technical skills required. Applicants don’t have the social skills, problem solving skills and aren’t flexible and adaptable.

If we want our kids to have good jobs, it’s not about how many years of school they have and what academic skills they acquire, it’s about skills that can’t be outsourced to computers or people overseas. -Katie Kimball

  • 2:10: Social and emotional learning is how parents and teachers can teach kids skills like leadership, decision making and problem solving. Today we’re looking at the 5 core competencies of social and emotional learning and how they can be fostered in the kitchen.
  • 2:51: CASEL defines social and emotional learning as follows: fostering a group of skills, knowledge and attitudes. How do we manage our emotions? How do we learn to set and achieve positive goals? How do we learn about our feelings and showing empathy towards others? How can we have the right attitude and skills to form strong, positive relationships? What skills and attitudes do we need to make responsible decisions?
  • 3:50: Some of the immediate positive impacts include: improved attitudes about self, others, learning and school, more positive social behavior and fewer conduct problems.
  • 4:20: Humans are created to be social. We have mirror neurons which means we mirror what we see and perceive from other people on a neurological level. When there’s a bond of love between the two people the mirror neurons respond more strongly. Ever heard that the whole house will feel the way mom feels?

Learning in a social way increases all our positive skills. -Katie Kimball

  • 5:15: 80+ studies have shown that kids who are intentionally taught social and emotional skills have standardized test scores 11 percentile points higher, better classroom behavior, higher ability to manage stress and better attitudes about the world.
  • 6:20: Long term studies have shown that 18 years after learning social and emotional skills in school people continue to do better than their peers in these areas: positive social behavior and attitudes, the ability to show empathy, being team players, achieving more academically, having less emotional distress and lowered drug use.
  • 7:38: Some of the life benefits of social and emotional learning are having better employment, and being less likely to get in trouble with the law.
  • 7:56: Let’s start talking about how we can apply these core competencies to the kitchen!

I truly believe that the kitchen is the best place to show kids that they matter and that they can make a difference in the world. -Katie Kimball

  • 8:27: The 5 core competencies are in 3 categories: intrapersonal (how we learn about ourselves), interpersonal (how we learn about our relationships with others),  and cognitive (how we make decisions).
  • 8:50: The two intrapersonal competencies are self-awareness and self-management. Author Carol Dweck talks about “fixed mindsets” versus “growth mindsets.” A fixed mindset would say you are the way you are and that won’t/can’t change. A growth mindset focuses on what you can do and the effort you can use to change. An example would be “You’re so smart in math” versus “I can tell you really worked hard on your math homework.”

Get Your Kids in the Kitchen with a Free Lesson

  • 10:06: Self-awareness is recognizing our own emotions and thoughts and how they influence our behavior, identifying strengths and weaknesses (not in a fixed way, but in a growth mindset!), self confidence and self efficacy (believing in yourself).

Add "yet" to everything you say that your kids can't do. -Katie Kimball

  • 11:27: I share a story of a mom doing our Kids Cook Real Food lessons with her children and encouraging a growth mindset and self confidence in the process.
  • 13:46: Self-management is how we behave: regulating emotions, thoughts and behaviors, management of stress, impulse control, self motivation, setting goals and working towards them, and basic organization skills. Organizing supplies, meal planning, planning ahead, reading a recipe and completing it in order are all self-management skills.
  • 15:00: I hear from parents who are concerned about their kids using knives and fire in the kitchen because they’re afraid their kids will goof off. I’ve found that when you give them real responsibility, kids usually rise to the occasion and meet or exceed expectations. They need these opportunities to learn. I firmly believe the kitchen is the best place to teach self-management.

We never want to assume that our kids will not be able to regulate themselves. We need to give them opportunities to try. -Katie Kimball

  • 15:43: Two years ago I went to my daughter’s school to make pancakes with the whole class. Listen in to hear how that went!
  • 18:04: Now we will move into the interpersonal competencies. How do we teach empathy in our homes? When kids know how to cook, they begin serving others naturally. I’ve heard many stories of kids helping cook for the family when mom is sick, or there’s a new baby.

Kids naturally want to feel empathy, but they don’t always know what they can do. -Katie Kimball

  • 18:52: We want our kids to be able to tangibly serve people. Kids know when they’re doing something to contribute to the wellbeing of the family and that is fulfilling and motivating to them.
  • 19:35: This is called social awareness: being empathetic and serving others.
  • 20:05: Cooking allows an appreciation of diversity by introducing spices and recipes from around the world and using that to discuss other cultures.
  • 20:29: It’s one thing to know what other people need and another to develop quality relationships. That requires communication skills, listening skills, cooperation skills and negotiation skills to resolve conflict. These are difficult skills to teach your kids! Cooking together is a great way to foster relationship skills.

Boys cooking together

  • 21:22: I’ll never forget an experience I had in home ec in middle school involving chocolate chip cookies and a lack of cooperation!
  • 22:13: I share another story from a KCRF member who used a late dinner to bring her family together in the kitchen.
  • 23:43: The final competency is decision making. Did you know that your brain can only make about 200 good decisions each day? This is why automating decisions through habits is helpful, as well as making important decisions earlier in the day. When do people usually binge eat junk food? Usually in the evening, because they’re out of decision making power.
  • 24:26: We need to be intentional about teaching good decision making skills. When there is fire, knives and food that needs to be made decisions can have consequences.

We need to put kids in real situations where the benefits and the consequences are real. -Katie Kimball

  • 25:10: Responsible decision making has a few steps: identify problems, evaluate possible solutions and think ahead to possible consequences, consider the impact on ourselves and others, how can we really solve our problems.
  • 26:23: I’ve heard several stories and personally experienced dinners gone wrong that require problem solving. We also learn these skills through considering how to not waste food, what we can cook for people with food allergies and how to consider the taste preferences of others.
  • 27:15: It’s pretty easy to make all this happen in the kitchen! If you’re just a little bit intentional about teaching cooking skills and keep these social and emotional learning principles in mind, opportunities will arise for your kids to learn!

More about the 5 competencies here.

How Kids Can Master Social & Emotional Learning in the Kitchen

I interview experts about kids' health every week.


Subscribe to be notified each time a new one is posted!

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.
Send this to a friend