I’ve never professed to be the world’s best parent so I hesitate to offer parenting advice. I have seen the benefits of the tip I’m about to give so I’m comfortable sharing it with you. So what is my best parenting tip?
Cook with your kids
Sounds so simple… and it is. I was reminded of this tip yesterday afternoon when my oldest and I made lasagna.
First, and most obvious, you’re teaching a great life skill. Yesterday, I reviewed chopping an onion, mincing garlic, and browning hamburger.
When you cook you learn to pay attention, follow directions, and a little math. Both of my daughters’ first exposure with fractions came from measuring spoons and cups.
My experience has shown that kids are also more likely to take ownership in and eat something they’ve helped prepare. Thinking about introducing a food your kid has never had before? Have them help make it. They might not eat a whole serving, or even like it, but you can be assured they will at least give it an honest try.
Perhaps the best benefit of cooking with your kids is the conversations you’ll have. My daughter and I talked about things making lasagna yesterday that we never would have talked about if I just had said, “So, what’s new at school?”
Do you cook with your kids? Did I miss any benefits that you’ve noticed in your own experiences?
As parents we’re tasked with teaching our children… but every once in awhile we learn something from them. That’s what happened today. I learned something from my 9 year old daughter.
Her Valentine’s Day box for school is due tomorrow so that was our project for this afternoon. We had been discussing all week what she wanted to do for it. She loves Legos and soccer so she wanted a Lego block box with a soccer ball on top of it.
I didn’t get it. The two things in my mind didn’t go together. Why not just do one? Stick to one theme and it would be less work. After hearing all my reasons why it wouldn’t work she was still determined to proceed with both. So that’s what we did and that’s when my lesson began.
The Lego block box came together quickly. I cut pieces of pink duct tape for her and she covered the shoe box and K-cups with it. She was pleased with how it turned out.
Next, was the soccer ball. That proved to be tricky. We tried several different ways to make one but they always looked off and never like an actual soccer ball. She decided that perhaps that idea wouldn’t work but in the process came up with a great idea for using chop sticks to make a sign for the top of the box.
I was wrong for trying to talk her out of her ideas. Had we not tried making the soccer ball she might not have come up with the other idea.
That’s when I learned that sometimes its OK to think like you’re 9. Forget about what you think you know or why you think something won’t work and just go for it. You might fail but you also might just be on the path to a great success.
“Failure is success in progress” – Albert Einstein
In the end we were both pleased with how her Valentine’s box turned out.
What lessons have you learned from your kids?
I love to cook. I enjoy trying new foods and new techniques in the kitchen. Cookbooks and recipes for me aren’t set in stone. They are merely idea starters. Telling me “we have no food in the house” or “there’s nothing to eat” aren’t statements… to me they’re challenges.
That’s why I was intrigued when a friend of mine and his wife started a 6 week pantry challenge on their food blog: Eating Right…. Most of the Time. Their goal was to make it 6 weeks only using items from their pantry (plus up to $30 a week spent on perishables). It’s been fun to see some of the creative meals they’ve come up with.
Their project has got me thinking about my families pantry. What I like to keep in it and everything I can cook from it. That led me to the following list.
What Every Pantry Needs:
Sloppy Joe Sauce
Cream of Mushroom Soup
Cream of Chicken Soup
Chicken Noodle Soup
Mushroom Pieces and Stems
Onion Soup Mix
Freezer Pantry items:
Cheese (shredded & sliced)
Stock up on these items when they’re on sale and you’ll not only save a ton of money but you’ll also be on your way to creating some healthy and nutritious meals.
So, what did I miss? What are some must-have’s for your pantry?