We are a cooking family. We love to take raw ingredients and make them into something wonderful and delicious. It’s an art form really. But even more than turning nothing into something, cooking is a way to get my kids to eat food that is good for them.
We used to eat out a lot. I mean, sometimes twice a day. Not only was that a drain on our wallet, but it was full of unhealthy, fried, and fatty foods. Oh sure, they tasted delicious, but they were wreaking havoc on our bodies and we didn’t care.
As I said in my last post, the kids and I moved last year. And with us came my parents. My parents are used to cooking at home. My dad is a chef turned computer software engineer. But here’s the key part of that sentence: chef. My dad cooks most of the meals in our house, mostly because he enjoys it. But the things he makes… lamb burger sliders, potato meal pancakes, homemade enchiladas … anything that has flavor and wonderfulness. And my darling children, used to fast, fried foods, wouldn’t touch it. We tried every bribe we could think of. Finally, my dad gave up on cooking the “fancy” stuff and made chicken pieces with garlic and salt. They were delicious. The kids loved them. And then the next day, Selina asked if she could help him make them. So we had chicken again the next night, but this time, they were lovingly prepared by Selina, with the help of my dad and the “special ingredient” (garlic).
And soon, as we weaned off of the fast food lifestyle, we began to notice that the kids were interested in more and more food items. And the key to that change: having the kids help make dinner. Their favorite thing to make is salad.
It seems simple enough, but when they are a part of actually making what goes on the table, they seem to be more interested in actually eating it. They are proud of what they are accomplishing.
Now, Selina is 5 and has been cooking for almost a year. Evin is 20 months and has been cooking for the past 2 months. Who would have thought that they would be so interested in something as simple as making a salad.
Look at those happy little faces. How on earth could I say “no, I’m going to make the salad myself” to those big eyes and wide smiles?
It may take us longer to make dinner, but, I tell you the truth, it’s TOTALLY worth every extra minute.