NorthPointe Insurance Blog
Tools That Make Cooking Easier
hen you have decided to start cooking more so that you can enjoy family dinners it makes it easier if you have the right tools. After all, you’re still busy even if you stop some of the after school activities. Let’s look at some helpful tools.
One thing that can be a damper on dinnertime is a picky eater. It may be a child, it may also be a spouse. But there are many ways to overcome the problem when dealing with picky eaters. Let’s look at a few ideas. See if they work. But, overall you shouldn’t allow a picky eater to rule dinner. They can eat it or not eat it, and if you cook a variety of foods, they really won’t starve themselves.
Offer a Variety of Choices
The first thing to do is offer a variety of choices. Even if you personally don’t like something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t cook it sometimes. If there is no allergy and it doesn’t make you gag you can demonstrate that you also sometimes eat things that aren’t your favorite because it’s good for you, because it is someone else’s favorite, and you want to be fair.
Don’t Force Anyone to Eat
Forcing a person to eat is always a bad idea. No child will starve themselves unless they have a serious medical issue such as anorexia. This is very rare. Food should not become a control issue between you and your family. Put the food on the table family style and ask that they try it at least once a year explaining that taste buds do change over time.
Get Them Involved
When you get the rest of the family involved in dinner prep they’ll be more likely to want to eat it, this is true for even the pickiest eaters. Ask them what they’d like for dinner. Let them find the recipes, help purchase the food, and if you have a garden let them grow some of the food too. It’s amazing how a child will decide they like something just because they grew it themselves.
You may have learned this in high school, but you may not have. Food preferences often are genetic. For example, whether someone loves cilantro or not is due to genetics. Some people think it tastes like soap while others think it tastes fresh and delicious. The same thing with broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables. If your child does not like something, ask them to explain why. It might be genetic. When you know, there may be other ways to prepare it to make it less off-putting.
It's easier to deal with picky kids than spouses. If you have a picky spouse and kids, you may want to talk to your spouse and ask them to keep their picky nature to themselves at dinnertime in front of the kids. You don’t want a child to model that behavior that just because they look up to their parent.
Bringing up a child is largely just living an example of the life that you want them to live. When people say “you’re just like your mother, or your father” it’s probably true. We don’t usually escape our genetics or our upbringing. While it is possible, it’s not statistically probable.
A child that grows up eating fast food every meal will grow up to eat fast food at every meal. Plus, they may not even live long enough to raise their own children to adulthood. The same thing can be said for learning manners. If your parents have manners, you’re likely to model their manners.
The things they’ll learn by eating together with you are:
Teaching manners is really done by example. When you care about how you present yourself to the world, including your family, you teach your children to do the same. What better way to demonstrate that than to do it during family dinnertime?
Bringing Family Dinnertime Back
Eating meals together as a family is very important to the well-being of the entire family. The whole family will be healthier, happier, and more bonded. Children will get better grades, and parents will feel closer to each other. The benefits of sharing regular meals together are so vast that it is hard to just list a few.
When you cook at home the food is going to be a lot healthier. Restaurants, (even from scratch ones) and packaged foods usually put a lot of salt, fat, and sugar in everything. It’s the holy grail of cooking to get people to become addicted to the food so that they come back. The only reason food tastes so rich and good when you go out is that fat, salt, and sugar combination and this is true even if you’re eating vegetables in most places.
When you spend time together doing something that is fun and not just work, it brings you closer together. Preparing a meal together, and then consuming it, and even cleaning it up after is a very nurturing thing to do together. You can have good, healthy conversations during the process. Plus, it’s just relaxing to smell food cooking while talking and laughing. It truly brings families together.
Happier Family Life
When the family is bonded well, it truly can feel like you have a soft place to fall at home. But without that bonding, it’s hard to enjoy being home. If you have kids who never want to be home have you ever wondered why? It’s not that they’re normal teens, it’s that you’re not fun to be around. Try being more relaxed, and let things go a bit. Enjoy your time with your kids. They won’t be there long.
Children Perform Better in School
Having dinner at home more often is so important that studies show that children get better grades if they spend more time at home with their parents during meals. Part of is nutrition and part of it is that bonding we were talking about. Getting the nutrition you need to grow, think, sleep well, and move – is very important to getting good grades.
If you want to be closer to your spouse, then you have to spend time together other than during sleep. The act of preparing the family meal together can be good for your marriage communication, make you both want sex more, which is going to bring you closer together and help you form that united front you need for raising children into adulthood.
When you spend time with your family doing things that are nurturing, fun, and fulfilling it brings you all closer together as a family unit. If you haven’t been doing dinner together it’s time to start. Start slow, so that you don’t upset anyone but do start implementing at least one night a week then start adding new nights so that before you know it you’re spending more time together as a family doing something that is fun and stress-free. Not to mention good for you.
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