Baking for the Brain
Time is an immensely valuable and often squandered resource, but the duration of the time spent has little importance, it is what you do with that time that defines its worth. Many people like to play video games or watch television in their free time, however taking up the hobby of baking has many more benefits and is something that everyone should take up as a long or short term hobby.
Baking has tremendous documented benefits in developing children's basic skills. Baking can help children learn number concepts, simple addition, life science, language development, simple fractions, and measurement, to name a few. Baking is a topic with a full breadth of similar and connected topics. By practicing baking children can have a more in-depth understanding of mathematics, by seeing it play out rather than learning about numbers on a page. Baking can also help children comprehend future math concepts like ratios and fractions without going in depth. Not only does it assist the comprehension of math concepts, but it also can offer benefits in the sciences.
Baking also ties into gardening, another practical hobby that has very similar benefits, and an inherent connection to life science. Being in the garden can help children understand the life cycle of plants, as well as how to prepare them into dishes. Watering plants and taking care of a garden can help teach children how to be responsible while still having a segue to the benefits of baking. Baking can help children connect with their parents in a fun way while still learning in a hands-on activity.
Though we have only talked about benefits in young children, baking has benefits for the mental health of adults as well. Cooking for yourself or others is an excellent practice with a plethora of benefits. Baking is shown to have the same physiological effects as practicing mindfulness and meditation, techniques that have been shown to decrease stress, stimulate the brain in a relaxing environment, and increase the user's overall mood. Baking has even evolved into a relatively common form of behavioral activation therapy. Baking is also categorized as altruism and philanthropy, and as science has shown, giving has many benefactors to the overall sense of a person's well being. Though providing the physical product of your efforts is pleasing to a person, the dish also holds emotional significance as you thought of them and then on top of that took the time and energy to make something for them. As you can so plainly see, with the assistance of the presented facts, baking is a valuable and essential skill to pursue and master or, if it doesn't interest you, stop at a basic understanding.
I have baked for most of my life, and it is my go-to activity whenever I am feeling down. Baking has helped me manage my anxiety and comfort myself. Baking helps me calm my nerves and relax. I highly recommend everyone to pursue it as a long term hobby or even try it out. Considering that 17.6 million Americans lack vitamin C and are at possible risk of scurvy, we could all benefit from a balanced diet and a couple of home cooked meals every now and then.