Teaching your kids how to be self-sufficient in the kitchen is not just an important life skill but it also brings great rewards to their health, social and emotional well-being. It is rewarding to everyone around them!
1. Hospitality and the Ability to Entertain
Our world is increasingly becoming focused on independence instead of inter-dependence. People are self-centered and egoistic instead of selfless and altruistic. The constant challenge for a caring parent is, “how do I teach my child to be selfless and caring about the needs of others?”
Hospitality and the ability to entertain can be a successful tool in teaching your kids to be selfless and to serve others.
One of the most effective ways of teaching children about caring for others is to actively engage them in hospitality. When we invite people into our homes, we naturally care about creating an inviting environment. By entertaining our guests we aim to leave their tummies full of delicious food and their minds brimming with great memories.
In many cultures, inviting someone over to your house and offering them a meal is a gesture of friendship and peace.
2. Cooking your Own Meals = Healthier food choices and Happier lives.
Many people either do not like to cook or just don’t care enough. The main reason behind the inability to prepare or plan meals is not having a basic knowledge of food nutrition and kitchen safety.
Research shows that those who cook their own meals make healthier food choices, leading healthier and happier lives.
Making your own meals at home means you will know exactly what kind of ingredients are being used, where they come from and how they will impact your health. Average restaurant food is high in sodium, cholesterol, and calories, not to mention ultra-large portions filled with saturated fats and sugars.
3. Cooking at home can Save you an Average $16/ family meal!
According to Forbes, it is almost 5 times cheaper to make meals at home than it is to eat out/order delivery. It is about 3 times cheaper to cook at home than subscribing to a meal kit service. Of course, these are very general statistics. Nevertheless, they give us a clear idea about the huge difference and impact it makes on the budget to cook your own meals at home.
4. Cooking at home is a Great Opportunity to close the Generational Gap.
Some of the best memories I have of my grandmothers are when we were cooking or baking together. To this day, I still use some of the tips and tricks that my grandmothers taught me from their abundant experience in the kitchen.
My grandmothers were not professionals, they just shared what they knew and made memories along the way. Don’t ever underestimate the importance of quality time spent with a child. Those seemingly minuscule minutes spent together can be remembered and treasured for a lifetime by your child or grandchild.
Making meals at home together is a great opportunity to close the generational gap between parents and kids, grandparents and grandkids and build lasting memories because nothing brings people together like food.
Investing time spent in the kitchen with your kids/grandkids is not only rewarding in the present but will reap abundant benefits for the whole family during times of illness or absence.
5. Teaching your kids to make meals can create a smoother family home environment.
On weekends I can sleep in, knowing that my kids can easily make themselves a nutritious breakfast without waking me up.
On busy weeknights, my boys can jump in and help with chopping a salad or veggies, stirring a hot pot, and/or setting the table, washing up, and clean-up. This greatly reduces the amount of stress that is involved with getting a home-cooked dinner on the table along with homework, housework, and preparations for the next school/workday.
On weekends, getting help or even delegating to your kids to make cookies a quick bread, or biscuits can make a weekend meal that much more special. It also helps with setting up the household for the next week ahead (if there are any leftovers).
Teaching your kids to make meals and bake can contribute to a smoother family home environment by balancing the responsibilities that everyone shares in a busy household.
Not convinced yet? Or maybe it seems out of reach? Here are a few ideas on how to get started.
Pick a source of protein for the week and prepare it over the weekend to use in your meals for the following week.
- Roast or BBQ a whole chicken to use for chicken sandwiches, wraps, burritos, tacos and pasta dishes. Kids can easily help with assembling sandwiches and wraps with an already prepared chicken. Purchasing a whole chicken rather than pieces is also the most cost-efficient at $0.99-$1.99/pound.
- Cook a pot of your favorite beans and use them to make burritos, salads, bean burgers, or refried beans.
- Slow-cook a side of beef chuck roast, then shred and use to make tacos, pair with your favorite pasta, serve as a side with roasted potatoes and veggies.
By having the main protein ready to go, there are many opportunities to include your kids with helping assemble and prepare the rest of the meal.
The best thing we can do is create priceless memories with those we love and what better way than to create them around food!
The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman