In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we had Jessica Epperson, a Mental Health Counselor, take over the Itty Bitty Bakers blog. Here's what she had to say:
Did you know that baking can have a positive impact on a child’s mental health?
Baking can support positive mental health in three key areas:
Creativity, Mindfulness, & Reduced Negative Emotions
Social Skills & Connection
Confidence, Self-Worth, & Positive Body Image
Let's dive deeper into each of these.
First off, baking is an excellent coping tool for managing negative emotions like anxiety or sadness.
When a child engages in baking, they naturally become more mindful of their present experience. This allows the child to get out of their own head and instead connect in a positive, sensory-filled way to their current environment. Mindfulness helps to increase self-awareness and alleviate stress and sadness!
Baking can also boost a child’s creativity and flexibility! These skills are essential for mental health. The more creative and flexible you are, the greater ability you have to navigate difficult experiences and emotions!
Another way baking supports kid’s mental health is by providing opportunities for social skills and connection!
Baking promotes several social skills including effective communication, active listening, and patience!
Itty Bitty Bakers also does an excellent job at setting up an environment for social connection. When your child attends an Itty Bitty Bakers class, they have an opportunity to bake with teachers and peers.
Parents can use baking to connect with their child at home! A strong parent-child relationship is essential to the healthy development of a child.💗
Baking is an excellent tool for supporting a child’s confidence, self-worth, & positive body image!
Kids gain confidence when they have opportunities to complete tasks on their own! Adults can safely support a child’s ability to independently prepare a recipe.
Baking also teaches kids that diligence, patience, and hard-work can produce excellent results!
Caregivers have an opportunity through baking to provide positive education on nutrition and food! Kids can begin learning about food in a shame-free environment that ultimately supports a positive body image.
Have you noticed the positive impact baking has had on your child? Let us know in the comments below!