There’s all this talk these days about goals and resolutions. And “words of the year.” But I’ve missed much of it, as I’ve been in bed with the flu. (You know the one that’s hit the entire country, the B strain that wasn’t in the vaccine this year. Sigh.) In year’s past I’ve made goals for different aspects of life – fitness, spiritual, financial, parenting, personal, etc. But starting the year out with the flu, just before having a baby, it seems that the only real goal that seems achievable right now is just to survive. But in all seriousness, Im very goals driven and hope to make a few more solid goals in March or April, when I emerge from the “newborn fog.” 🙂
I’m finally coming out of the flu-funk, with Cuatro due to arrive in less than 2 weeks. (Better to have it run through the family now, than after he is born!) But I wanted to share something that happened when I was really “down in the dumps” a few days ago…as it explains how I came up with this particular goal.
I wandered downstairs in a dazy fog of congestion and fatigue to help the boys get breakfast, mind you I’d just woken up and was already ready for a nap. They were all coming out of the bad days of the flu, just as I was going into them. They were begging for eggs, so I said we could make some…as they’d been living on saltines and toast for days and needed the protein. By the time I made it into the kitchen, the skillet was on the stove, and my oldest son was whisking up 6 eggs in a bowl.
It was almost as if I were dreaming. Maybe I was. But I wasn’t.
Is he seriously whisking eggs?
When did he learn to do this?
I plopped myself onto a barstool and started chatting with him about his egg making skills. As we chatted, he pushed the stool over and got down the salt and pepper from the spice cabinet and set them next to the stove. Then he asked me to turn on the burner.
What is happening here? How did I miss this?
And then it occurred to me…he’s way older and way more responsible than I give him credit for…and it’s time we step things up in the kitchen.
Goal: I want to teach my boys to be better independent and little cooks in the kitchen!
Turns out…while I’m upstairs in the morning getting little man up and going for the day, the older two are already downstairs getting breakfast together or cooking with my husband. And over the past few weeks/months, my husband has taught Ryan how to scramble eggs! (With help on the “start the burner part.”) I’m super impressed and am so thankful for this eye opening experience , and how it’s shown me that I need to push the boys a little more in gaining independence in the kitchen and teach them the essential skills they need to know.
All the boys do many things “supervised,” but Ryan and Charlie are both at ages where I’d like to move them from “supervised” to “independent” with tasks in the kitchen that I don’t really need to closely supervise. (And all this, just days before Cuatro is to arrive. I suppose the addition of a tiny human will help force some of this independence in the kitchen.)
We’ve got the whole “set and clear the table” thing all figured out, but there are some more “food preparation” tasks to work on. Here are a few things I’d like to teach them:
- Make their own sandwiches.
- Assemble their lunchboxes (with pre-made treats like muffins, banana bread, as well as fruit and other favorite lunchbox goodies.)
- Make cookies, from mixer to cookie sheet. (with pre-measuring of their dairy free butter!)
- Assembly line kinds of dishes…making breakfast burritos, enchiladas, etc
- Scramble eggs (middle one), hard-boil eggs (both).
- Shred chicken from the slow cooker with forks, divide into baggies to freeze.
- Load the rice cooker and bread machine.
- Measuring out ingredients for marinades and salad dressings. And shaking them up! (They’ll love this!)
- Make pizzas with the crusts that I’ve got in the freezer.
- Making smoothies/learning the right “fruit to milk to juice” ratio for smoothies.
There are so many benefits to teaching my boys in the kitchen…from independence to practicing math to deepening our relationships to learning about healthy food choices and so much more. I look forward to a year of helping them learn about food and grow in their independence in the kitchen!
- The Whole Family Cookbook – Michelle is a fellow blogger, and I love how her cookbook breaks down the tasks in the directions for different ages. Extremely helpful!