Most people prepare meals for themselves, their families or the public. If you are a single-parent…or feel like one… you may find that all of the food preparation is done by you. Unless you love to be in the kitchen, this responsibility can become a recipe for nutritional disaster in the form of take-out and fast food.
I am one of those people who love being in the kitchen. I think it’s fun to “play” with food, try new things and it feels great to know that my family is willing to try anything I put on the table. They try it because 95% of the time it’s yummy. The best part is that I know every ingredient I put into the dishes and the benefits they’re getting. By telling them what they ate, (usually after they said “can I have more please”) my family members are now walking advertisements for healthy eating. They still make less-than-ideal choices when the opportunity presents itself, but balance is the key.
My 6 year old son was making a smoothie the other day. He put in the mango juice, strawberries, banana, spinach (which he has named the”I love you” ingredient), the hemp hearts and bee pollen. About to put the top on and start blending – his favorite part- he stopped and most seriously asked, “mom, do we have any fish oil?” I wanted to giggle and hug him tight for knowing what’s good for him. Realizing that making a big deal out of his request would make these healthy choices the exception and not the normal behavior I have tried to model. I proceeded to open the fridge and hand him the fish oil.
The moral of my story is this: It’s never too early to promote healthy foods but leading by example is an incredible gift you can give to those you spend time with. At home, at work or in line at the bank, you never know who’s watching.
Baby steps for those who see the kitchen as nothing but a chore. Potlucks for those willing to learn, share, and expand their skills.