By Jennifer

When I was younger, I didn’t cook with my mom the way I did when I was older. Rather, I cooked with my Dad! My mom was working her own business, and would often spend evenings seeking out clients or attending meetings, so often me, my brothers, or my Dad would handle dinner. I remember we experimented … a LOT. Sometimes it worked, other times … well, not so much. But the important thing I learned about cooking with my Dad was that it was okay to experiment and if something didn’t work out, the pizza coupons were always on the fridge.

When my mom retired and they moved to the country to be closer to my grandparents, I stayed with them for a while. During this time, my Mom and I would binge-watch food network and come up with some of our own creations. We didn’t always see eye-to-eye in the kitchen (still don’t …), but it was a lot of fun and we learned about each other and cooking.

There’s an old saying that goes, “When you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. When you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.”
When you teach your kids to cook, you also feed them for a lifetime.

Some of my favorite moments with my kids are cooking with them. My daughter and I come up with different healthy recipes together. She’s very into learning about herbs and spices and how different ones work together. My son is more into baking and loves to help me make cookies and cakes (only every once in a while …).

Recently, my daughter attended a cooking class with my Mom and my Mom’s church. She came back excited about cooking and couldn’t stop talking about the foods they made. Her favorite was a taco made with pulled pork. She told me what they did, and then she told me her ideas on what to do to change it up a little bit.

Cooking with your kids serves several purposes. First, as they get older they will become more and more self-sufficient. Once they are adults, they will know how to good a good healthy meal, rather than relying on fast food and pre-packaged junk. Second, it gives you an opportunity to spend quality time with your child. You will get to know them a little better, and forge a special relationship with them that will last a lifetime. Third, studies have shown that when a child cooks a meal, he/she is more likely to try the meal. Thus, preparing a new food with them increases the chances that they will try it out!

Most of us spent the majority of our lives obese, some of us were even obese children. Getting your children into the kitchen with you will help prevent them from living with obesity and all the problems it entails. By teaching them the fundamentals of cooking healthy dishes using real, fresh ingredients you are giving them the gift of a lifetime, and having fun doing it!

Proverbs 22:6
“Train up a child in the way he should go: ans when he is old he will not depart from it.”