One of the things I passionately pursue is instilling the value of responsibility into my children. I have read a myriad of books on the topic, have given talks on the subject, but bottom line…from a parental standpoint…it’s just plain hard work, and often I fail miserably.
But one thing I am committed to is not giving up.
Our children have been given so many gifts, and one of those gifts is the ability to work, and to work hard.
Oops…I am supposed to be posting about cooking with kids, and I’ve tangented before I even got started.
(I’ll come back to this on another post and get back on my soap box then.
A fun tangible way to build responsibility in our children is by giving them the tools of learning to not only cook for themselves, but to also be a productive part of the family unit….and cook for you.
I enjoy cooking with my kids when I slow down long enough to realize that these are those “ah ha” moments that take my breath away. I want to savor them, but that means I have to be intentional about making them happen.
My children are quite tired of the reminder that colonial kids were considered adults at the age of 12, and young ladies were fully running the “kitchen” by that age.
That means they were capable of not only all the baking, but managing the fire, and cooking over the coals as well.
And I’m worried about a little burn on the stove top?
Most cooks in the olden days didn’t use recipes or measuring cups. They just learned to cook from their Mommas or Grandmommas from the time they were toddlers, and learned to judge how much of an ingredient to use by sight. This was a gift.
Due to our fast paced society, it’s often easier to just stop at the drive thru (you know how I feel about that 12 year old hamburger….hee hee), and yes, I admit to doing this far too often during sports seasons.
I think it’s an assumed close to say a tremendous amount of our time is spent around food.
Everyone looks forward to meals with loved ones, but it’s a big job to prepare meals, let alone nutritious ones, that families will enjoy.
So often in the crazy scheduling, I tell myself that it’s just easier to do it myself.
Unfortunately, I am forgetting the long term benefit of training my children to cook along side me.
Therefore, sharing and modeling a simple art that is slowly losing it way, is a priority.
I know many of you may not have learned some of the basic kitchen skills as you were growing up and had to learn the hard way.
Next time, you’re whipping something up, invite your child to join you.
You will be amazed at how much LIFE occurs around a mixing bowl.
The first time my eldest son offered to make our complete dinner….I was blown away.
It wasn’t just Mac and Cheese. He went to our garden, picked some zucchini, and squash, and then proceeded to stir fry them with some garlic, onions, oil and spices. He sprinkled cheese on top for good measure, and I think I spent the rest of the night picking myself up off the floor.
All those small, stolen moments of “planting the seeds” in the kitchen were beginning to reap a harvest – quite literally outside and in.
I realized that I hadn’t given them enough credit. They are incredibly capable.
At a young age, they are flattered by responsibility, and will rise to the challenge that you set forth…as long as you are modeling right along with them, smothering them with words of encouragement.
I love to know that my five year old can make scrambled eggs and often wants to be Mommy’s Helper.
She has a few menu items that she loves to make by herself, and is continually asking to learn more.
My nine year old is in charge of the noontime meal 3 days a week – she loves it, and I’m amazed at what she can conjure up.
Today it was some wonderful smoothies, and do you remember the meals for multitudes – making homemade pizza – she loves tackling those.
When my three sons were young, I set a random kitchen goal for them of items I wanted them to master before they graduated from high school.
I wanted them to be able to:
1. make chocolate chip cookies from scratch
2. make lasagna from scratch
3. make homemade bread from scratch
Why in the world did I decide on these things?
Well, first of all, all three choices are my comfort foods, and if Momma ain’t happy, nobodies happy. xoxo
I also knew that any future mother in law would be thrilled to get boys who could cook/bake…hee hee
But on a more serious note, I knew that if they could bake cookies, and bread, they could bake anything from a recipe. And I also understood that if they could learn how to layer lasagna and mix the spices, they could really master any kind of casserole.
We’re almost there…many years earlier that I had anticipated, so I have definitely been adding to that “mastery list.”
I can tell you that cooking with my children is a blessing and delight.
Special shared moments have been created in our kitchen.
Come back for the recipe of what we whipped up in that mixer….yum, and the kids loved to help. Can’t you tell?