Many people talk about the joy of eating as a family – who doesn’t love that? What about cooking as a family?
With my busy schedule, there is nothing I love more than time spent at home with my family laughing, talking and bonding. I love my career; but nothing compares to being with my wife, Kali, and our children. When I was a child, my parents felt it was an important part of the family dynamic to spend time together making, as well as eating the family meal. It’s funny – but, 30 years later, those times are still some of my favorite memories. My wife and I are teaching our three children the pleasure and importance of a family dinner.
Time spent together in the kitchen is not just for cooking,
but also for creating memories and teaching life skills.
Those times in the kitchen are not just for cooking, but also for creating memories and teaching life skills. Nowadays, many people are so busy that they do not feel they can sit down to a healthy, home-cooked meal; but Kali and I use our mealtime to teach our kids that there is always time for each other. We make day-to-day activities an opportunity to spend time together. Like everyone, we are busy with work, school and after-school activities, and life in general; but eating a home-cooked meal is a priority. On Sundays, our tradition is to make healthy omelets with Nest Fresh® eggs and loaded with fresh vegetables. We blast music, dance, sing, laugh, talk and bond!
Being in the kitchen with the family is a great learning tool for life. Our kids are learning the importance of healthy ingredients and how “food is medicine.” I learned from my parents that good parenting is to teach your children life skills and to be present with the most important things – time, love and education! Mistakes can and will happen in the kitchen. The toast can get burnt and little fingers have caused a fair share of food to hit the floor. As parents, we have to have patience and take a “practice makes perfect” approach.
I love our special time in the kitchen cooking, laughing and cleaning. We all work together to clean up, as well. Moans and groans are inevitable; but when you set the expectation that we all cook and clean together, the work can become fun. We play round robin on who chooses the cleaning songs and we dance as we clean. The kids can get sidetracked, but as long as they are engaged, that’s okay! My mother always taught me that a good cook is also a good cleaner, and I still follow that lesson today.
Many times, Kali and I are rushed because of our schedules and it would be so much easier to do the cooking ourselves or to just call for take-out. But, we don’t want to miss watching our children grow up. Seeing them develop and change before our eyes is a magical experience, and in the close confines of the kitchen, we can see their personalities change as they grow. I am sure it would be so much easier to let them sit in the living room playing video games or watching TV; but we are teaching them a life skill that they will carry throughout their lives – one that they can pass on to their own families one day. Hopefully, we are teaching them a tradition that they will cherish forever.