Last Mother’s Day I woke to the aroma of something yummy baking in the oven. My walk down the stairs to the kitchen led me to an array of magnificent scones baked by my three sons, accompanied by flowers, cards, and kisses. At that moment I flashed back to all of those years when I would sneak down in the morning and whip up some home-baked goodies before everyone woke up. Even the typical late sleepers came to the breakfast table early to start the day together.
As a mom, setting a good example about making smart food choices was always my goal, but that never guaranteed that my lead would be followed. Since my kids were big enough to be propped up in a shopping cart, they came to the supermarket with me. Food shopping was combined with food games, facts, and fun. If they requested unhealthy picks, it may have required a healthy negotiation. For example, if a cartoon character on a box of sugary cereal was beckoning, that box may have made it to our pantry, but its contents got combined along with a different type that only contained a gram or two of sugar. This combo tamed the temptation for the taste for sweets and it also displayed a lesson in compromise.
My kitchen has always been the heart of my home and food is the fabric we all wear each day. Cooking with my kids was a way for them to get hands-on experience and feel pride and enjoyment from the dishes they created.
Now that my boys are grown, I see how those childhood games lead to adult choices. Providing food for your family is not just about fueling healthy bodies — it’s also about creating healthy relationships. Studies have shown that families who eat together share more than a favorite dish. You don’t have to be a chef to bring your family to the table; even a snack together could come with a side dish of conversation and memories that could last a lifetime.
I can’t wait till this Mother’s Day and I wish you a wonderful experience with those you love.