Updated: Apr 8, 2020
Cooking is an important part of the Waldorf curriculum, especially in the early childhood years. Cooking connects students to the natural world and gives them pride in what they put into their bodies.
The preparation of a meal can also help children understand where their food comes from. Rather than open a jar of applesauce, students may go to an orchard, pick the apples, clean them, peel, core, and slice them, stir the cooking pot, then eat the apple sauce. This is just one example from The Waldorf Kindergarten Snack Book.
When asked why people appear unable to develop, Rudolf Steiner replied, "This is a problem of nutrition...It is all too easy to do harm by failing to bring children into the proper physical relationship with their environment. This may happen especially in regard to their instincts for food. Children may be overfed with things that make them lose completely their healthy instinct for food, whereas by giving them the proper nourishment, the instinct can be preserved so that they always want what is wholesome for them under the circumstances.”
Further reading on the benefits of cooking in child development, and ways to receive proper nutrition in a sustainable way:
Problems of Nutrition by Rudolf Steiner
Nutrition: Food, Health, and Spiritual Development by Rudolf Steiner
Michael, cooking millet at home as part of the Morning Glory Kindergarten "educating beyond the classroom" lesson
Hudsyn, enjoying millet her favorite way - with gomasio, cheeze, currants, tamari, carrot sticks, and celery