This week, I was asked “What benefits do I see for my kids from all the home cooking I do with them?”
“Well,” I said, being in somewhat of a mood to be difficult, “on one hand it’s hard to say definitively since my kids are not growing up in a ‘controlled’ science experiment!” But then, as I contemplated the big picture with regards to their eating habits, I realized a few things…
I can see how much it has improved their food literacy, awareness of ingredients, and opened the door to many food/health discussions. They get used to smelling and tasting foods along the way (with no pressure) which has expanded their palates no end. They also like figuring out their own likes/dislikes and seeing how they evolve.
My daughter is just sitting next to me as I write, polishing off smoked trout with French green beans as her snack. My son has been frustrated with me lately because I haven’t replenished our “herby oil” which he likes to drizzle over foods (a simple Vitamin-blend of olive oil, parsley, chives, and other herbs from the garden, salt and pepper).
Not everything they eat is like that, of course, but my main conclusion is that it is possible for kids to drool over healthy foods!
I notice how many women (and men, not to be too biased) my age were not taught how to cook as they grew up. Actually, I had to teach myself too since home economics was not de rigueur at school when I was growing up. I am forever grateful for the time I spent living in New York City as a new adult, whose culinary inspiration drove me to want to be able to create all those fabulous flavors myself (in a healthy version of course!).
Recently, I wrote a guest article for Dr. Mark Buhenne over at Ask The Dentist, a wonderful functional medicine practitioner. The article was about raising health savvy kids. If you’re an interested parent, you can find it here.
I’d love to hear from parents with kids: What are you doing at home with your kids around food literacy?