Chef Time!

Chef Time!

Friday, June 26, 2015

It's Never Too Early To Learn How To Cook.

When my father was killed in action in 1965 while serving this great country of ours, my mother had to go to work to support herself and me. My Nonna came to America from Palermo Sicily to take care of me and the household.
My Nonna had always believe, that everybody should be able to cook and that everyone should do it with love and passion. So, at the ripe young age of eight, I began my trek to cook. Now at fifty-seven, I can honestly say that cooking was in my blood, sweat and tears and say it with pride.
That's why its important today, that children should learn to cook. I'm not saying that they should be cooking complex dinners or such, but learning to cook by helping mom or dad or even grandma or grandpa.
Cooking teaches many things, that can be later used in life as the children grow older. It teaches patience, confidence and most of all, it teaches how to eat healthier and how to plan activities. It also assists with most school classwork too. For it increases your math skills, reading skills, some science is even involved as well.
Cooking for me has always been my passion, my hobby, and my livelihood. I can even proudly say, that I've been cooking for almost a half of a century.
So when you decide to cook dinner tonight, ask one or all of your children if that want to help with dinner. In fact, make it a family event once a week and let them help plan the dinner menu.

Some of the short-term benefits:

1. It encourages kids to try healthy foods.
2. Kids feel like they are accomplishing something and contributing to the family.
3. Kids are more likely to sit down to a family meal when they helped prepare it.
4. Parents get to spend quality time with their kids.
5. Kids aren't spending time in front of the TV or computer while they're cooking.
6. Kids generally aren't eating junk food when they're cooking a meal at home.

Some long-term benefits:

1. Learning to cook is a skill your children can use for the rest of their lives.
2. Kids who learn to eat well may be more likely to eat healthfully as adults.
3. Positive cooking experiences can help build self-confidence.
4. Kids who cook with their parents may even be less likely to abuse drugs.

Family meals aren’t just for holidays…many families now adjust their individual schedules in order to enjoy evening meals together several nights a week. Research proves that pleasant table talk while passing plates of nutritious foods, builds stronger relationships and brings families closer together.

The health of your family is affected when you all eat together. Taking time to plan and prepare meals that are eaten at home, guarantees a more nutritious diet for everyone at the table. In some homes, each family member takes part in the planning, preparation and serving, so that every person has a stake in the success of each meal.

Here are a few ideas to encourage everyone to take part:

 Choose themes for meals, such as Meatless Mondays, Festival of Italy or even Taco Tuesdays.
 Resort to recipes, make a list of needed ingredients and appoint a designated shopper.
 Encourage children to design placements or menus for the table.
 Rotate responsibilities for introducing topics over dinner.
 Take turns cleaning the table and cleaning up after the meal.

In one recent study, nearly half of the teens and parents agreed that during or after dinner, is the best time to talk about personal topics. Another study shows that teens who eat frequent meals with their families, do better in school and have fewer problems in drugs and depression.

Younger children reap in benefits from family meals too. The youngest will develop language skills as they listen to table talk, and older kids learn the value of taking turns to share their news of the day. Children of all ages (and even adults) always appreciate focused attention and time to laugh together. 

Where better to find better social skills than around the table at home?

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