Wake up. Coffee. Lunches made. Quick breakfast…hopefully. Homework signed. Must catch the bus.
It’s a seasonal dance. School has started.
We mourn the end of summer while craving routine. However, as the school routine begins to take shape, like a marching band shuffling into a recognizable form during halftime, we begin to realize what a precious commodity time becomes.
The school year ups the ante on parental job responsibilities. Casual summers give way to a never-ending taxi service to soccer, cheerleading, tennis, softball, and tutoring. After working all day, managing household responsibilities, picking up and dropping off multiple children for their sports practice of choice and then helping with mind-numbing homework, cooking dinner feels like climbing Mount Everest.
My feet hurt from this seasonal dance, so I did the unimaginable. I taught my kids how to cook. I can’t take credit for this brilliant idea (and it is brilliant.) My brother and sister-in-law clued me in.
This is how it went down. At a recent birthday celebration for my sister-in-law I couldn’t help but marvel at her impressive birthday cake. When I inquired about who made it I was told that her daughter, my niece Olivia, baked it. I was spellbound. My awe-inspired distraction continued as my brother furthered the conversation by telling me that he and his wife taught their children how to cook beginning at age ten and by age 12 both his children were responsible for cooking dinner one night a week.
I told you it was brilliant. This idea, teaching your children how to cook and then giving them meal preparation responsibilities, works on so many levels. It provides kids with a vital skill for ensuring a long-term, healthy relationship with food. It gives them a greater appreciation for fresh ingredients. It cultivates a palate that prefers healthy, homemade foods over fast and processed foods. Last, but not least, it offers much needed help to busy parents.
Start by teaching your kids how to cook some of their favorite dishes and how to follow a recipe. Then provide them with new recipes they can try out as their cooking skills improve. Eventually, they will be willing to go it alone…creating their own culinary wonders.
We even have a simple recipe video to help you start your kids healthy cooking experience off the right way, with Peanut Butter Hummus.