Everyone Cooks
Chester J. Zelasko, Ph.D. | August 31, 2006

This is the last in our month-long series on children and eating healthy, but I think it’s one of the most important. I already wrote about allowing children to cook with parental supervision. But what I didn’t say was that it should be both parents, not just Mom.

Yes, I’m talking to you, Dad--you don’t get a free pass. I can’t stress enough how much children emulate what they observe. If they see Dad approach meal prep with fear--or worse, contempt--what message does that send to them?

If both Mom and Dad prepare meals, it’s easier to get the kids involved, because they can see that everybody cooks--that feeding the family is a shared responsibility. Prep may go a lot slower at first, but if the kids eat better it will be worth it, and eventually it may even save time.

If evenings are too busy with parents working late, dance lessons, and soccer practice, find another time. Take a weekend afternoon or evening for the whole family to prepare and freeze several meals in advance. Can you think of a better way to spend time than helping your kids learn to be healthier?

You're not just making food; you're starting your kids on the road to healthy eating that will benefit them their whole lives. The bonus is that when Mom isn’t around, Dad will have more to offer the kids than just pizza, burgers, or other fast food.
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