And just like that, I’m back. It’s been a long year off consulting full time for a giant non-profit organization. Helping them tell their story.
Now I’m here again to continue with mine.
This year we’ll talk about food, and plenty of it. Good-for-you food, kid-friendly food, easy food. But I’m also moving deeper into the heart of parenting because you know what I’ve found out after four babies and six years of food blogging?
Preparing food is one thing. You need a few great recipes and a handful of simple techniques.
But teaching kids to appreciate it, to go along (even when it’s not their favorite dinner), to enjoy sitting around a table (even when your four-year-old brother takes sooo long to remember the name of his preschool class’s new “mouse that’s called a hamster”), to be open to new experiences, to respect their bodies enough to eat more of what makes them feel good and less of anything that doesn’t and to ultimately, to know how to feed themselves–all that is parenting.
And if I’m going to turn these rascals loose on the world at some point, I want to know that I’ve covered the bases. That I did my best to guide them toward being their truest, kindest selves.
A year of eating intentionally
This will be a year of eating intentionally, when every month my husband and I will take on an attribute, a life skill, virtue or value that we want our kids to learn about. We’re raising future adults here, and it turns out that just HOPING they’ll learn to be more patient isn’t working. Crossing our fingers that they appreciate other cultures or the actual earth we all live on isn’t going to cut it.
Just doing more doesn’t seem like the right approach though.
Come on, moms! A little more hustle and you could totally squeeze in a quick civics lesson between school pickup and guitar lessons/soccer practice/Odyssey of the Mind! They probably have CDs at the library, maybe something about the beautiful but troubled history of Tibet for the van?
Not another thing, please!
That’s when it hit me, I see all those tiny faces the most at the table. We eat together every day. Usually more than once. What if I could connect these virtues, these big life lessons, to something as simple as our meals?
So every month, we’re going to dive in.
There will be recipes. Activities. Interviews with experts. And a big ol’ helping of truth: I’ll tell you how it’s going, whether we crash or burn.
Are you ready?
I think I am.
Here are the first few things we’ll cover. And when I say cover, I mean purposefully do our best to expose them to the ideas. As my new favorite meme says,”I’m not a perfectionist mom. I’m not a crafty mom or a fit mom. I’m just a normal mom doing my best not to raise jerks.”
Teaching Kids Character, One Bite at a Time
Some of these ideas are new. Others are still so relevant that I can’t help but bring them up again.
1. Taking care of your body
- 12 Pictures of 5 Kids’ Servings of Fruit & Veggies a Day
- The Case for Playing, Hiking & Giving Up “Exercise”
2. Taking care of others through love & kindness
- My 5 Favorite Foods to Take a Family in Need
- Friend with a New Baby? Why You Should Bring Food About 2 Months In (And What to Bring!)
3. Budgeting: Groceries, eating out and the world’s food economy make an excellent lesson in learning how money works
4. Curiosity: How do other people live? What do they eat? How does food get from a farm (or factory) to my fork?
5. Patience: Even when you have to wait for the reward
6. Stewardship: Looking after your things and the world we live in
7. Self-reliance: Basic cooking (and life) skills every kid, even little kids, should know
10. Time management
That means taking care of your body is first up. Here we go!
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Are you in? Leave a comment below!