Cooking

New Year's Resolutions for Cooking with Kids

New Year's Resolutions for Cooking with Kids

Well, here's something kind of cool — when you cook with your kids, you can tackle parenting and health together. I've been thinking about some things I want to accomplish in the kitchen with my son this year, and I thought I'd share some ideas on New Year's resolutions as they relate to cooking.

Confession: I Haven't Cooked Much Lately

Confession: I Haven't Cooked Much Lately

I'm going to level with you: Lately, I just haven't had the energy for cooking. My workdays have been long. My son was sick a couple of days. I've had several evenings where it's just my son and me — and it's really hard to cook for two. So, yeah, I've taken a bit of a break from the kitchen just to catch my breath.

5 Reasons We Want Kids in the Kitchen

5 Reasons We Want Kids in the Kitchen

It's National Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day — a good reminder to get kids involved in cooking. It's not always easy, and it's never fast, but the benefits are real. So, even if you don't let your kids take over the kitchen, invite them to join you. Consider these five benefits.

Getting Out of a Food Funk

Getting Out of a Food Funk

Here’s something interesting, I’d think, holding a vegetable we haven't had in a while or a tempting marinade or sauce. Then, I'd consider different preparations ... pasta, stir fry, tacos, the grill. Followed by: Who cares? It’s not like my boy will eat it anyway.

Between my son’s allergies and his pickiness about food (yay, toddlerhood!), I get into rut after rut.

Cooking: Make It Look Like You Like It

Starting from a very young age, our kids are watching us. We know this. They’re mimicking our words and intonations (like when my 2-year-old greets me with a quick, “Hey you”). They’re picking up on our mannerisms and attitudes.

And while kids are around a lot of people (especially if you work), they’re still (probably) around their parents more than anyone. They look up to us. So, the example we set matters. This isn’t a guilt trip, folks. It’s just what it is. It’s what parenthood is.

And we all know that we can tell kids things all day, but in the end, they watch us. You can’t tell your kid to eat broccoli while you shove a brownie in your face. (Which is why I wait until my kid goes to bed.)

Lately, my son wants to “help” with folding towels, with sweeping the floor, with cooking. He doesn’t know these are chores. He doesn’t know (yet) that these aren’t fun.

Sucker.

But seriously ... one of the greatest benefits of cooking with our kids and letting them be a part of the action is helping them learn from an early age that cooking is not a chore. It’s a fact of life — much like going to school. Some days are better than others, but your attitude affects whether it's a good experience overall.

So, you can make cooking seem like something to be dreaded, or you can make it seem like something that is fun — or at the very least, neutral. If we complain about cooking, that’s the model our kids will follow. That’s not to say we can’t admit that some days we're too busy or “just aren’t feelin’ it.” But the overall message around food should be a positive one if we can at all help it.

These days, we’re so time-starved that we can’t fathom spending more than 30 minutes to prepare a weekday meal. And I get it. BIG TIME. But somewhere deep in my child’s brain I want to plant the seed that this is something we’d spend more time on if we could — it’s that enjoyable.