Cooking

Food Is Our Love Language

Food is my love language. It’s a way I show I care.

Food is my love language. It’s a way I show I care.

I recently invited my husband’s family over for dinner. It was his birthday week, and I wanted to do something for him. We don’t always celebrate the adults’ birthdays in the family. But I was feeling like wanted to celebrate my husband — and create an opportunity for the family to get together.

At the time I extended the invitation, I genuinely thought I had a lot of time. I thought my work was in a good place, the house was in a good place, and I could plan, prep and make a big meal. But life didn’t go that way. And so, I found myself scrambling a bit.

A couple of days before our dinner, I asked my son what dessert we should make daddy for his birthday. “A cake,” my son said.

“What type of cake?” I asked.

He paused for a moment.

“Cheesecake.”

My son is observant. While my husband is not much of a sweets person, his dessert preference probably would be cheesecake. But I wasn’t sure I had time to pull that off.

Then, I started describing the food menu to my son. Daddy had asked for steaks. And we’d probably do a salad and some roasted vegetables, perhaps a baked potato bar.

My son leaned forward and said, “Mommy, that sounds like a lot. I think I’m going to need to help you.”

My heart melted. That understanding of how much work goes into preparing a meal typically comes from the other women in my life — my mom, grandma, aunt, best friend. And here was my son, all of 5 years old, recognizing that cooking is a lot of work, and yet, not viewing it as a chore. He saw it as something he wanted to help with.

Mommy, that sounds like a lot. I think I’m going to need to help you.


I often feel like food is my love language … It’s something I can do for others that shows I care. And when my son asks if we’re going to make our Halloween cookies this year and if I can make his special Valentine’s Day chocolates again, it means something to me.

Maybe my son’s love language will be food as well.

Experiences like this conversation with him remind me why we spend time together in the kitchen. And why we show love around food. It’s so he can have a relationship not just with food but with cooking that is positive and joyful. And it’s moments like these that make me think maybe — just maybe —what I’m doing is working.

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.