Cooking for Great Life Lessons

Cooking in our household has gone through the gamut of homemade bread baking, garden fresh vegetables to hurried nights of take-out. For the kids’ first birthdays, I created homemade cakes with fancy decorations. As we’ve entered into their tween years, pizza and store bought birthday cupcakes bought the day of the party became the norm with busy work schedules and late preparations! Regardless of how the meal is made and placed upon the table, cooking serves up great life lessons. Here are my four favorite cooking experiences:

  1. Microwaved oatmeal for the 5-year-old self-reliance: One of the very first lessons we taught the little ones was how to make their own oatmeal. From the age of five, they were able to measure out the oats and water and set the microwave to cook their oatmeal. The idea was super simple. They were able to independently prepare a hot breakfast and were quite proud of themselves. Our older children are now experimenting and making full dinners. It’s fun to watch them discover the different challenges of cooking and figuring out what works and doesn’t work.
  2. Squirrel hunting adventure: I’ll admit that this wasn’t my idea and I wasn’t at all pleased that my husband wanted to take the kids out to hunt squirrels for food. They were only about six at the time and I wasn’t sure they’d understand. They did though. They came back with the husband proud to have found their food and ate all their dinner.
  3. Cake Pops don’t always come out on the first try: Our daughter has been experimenting with baking. She was really excited to try out cake pops. The first few attempts were not successful. This hasn’t stopped her from continuing to try and with each new attempt, the results are better than the previous cake pop!
  4. Menu planning in the making: Now, the kids are making menus and helping cook dinner. It’s great to see them try out new foods and learning how to look up recipes. From tomato soup to freshly baked cinnamon rolls, we’re getting to see their imaginations take shape with food. Of course, that’s not all meals. We’re still getting hamburger helper or mac and cheese as regular dinner options!

We continue to experiment and explore ways to make cooking fun. Although, we’ve also taught the importance of taking turns washing dishes, setting the table and taking out the trash. What have been your favorite cooking life lessons?

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