As I mentioned in my Goals for 2014 post, I wanted to connect with the kids in a deeper way. Our lives get so hectic sometimes that all we are doing is running from one place to another, doing homework and plopping on the couch out of exhaustion. Next thing we know, it’s bedtime.
Enter Cook With Me Sunday, or what my kids affectionally call it Baking Sundays.
My goal for Sunday afternoon was to set myself up for success during the week. My husband works in a restaurant, which means that more than often I am on my own when the kids gets home from school. I have several food sensitivities that has sent our dinner time into a very hectic situation for me. Not only did I need to deal with a huge eating adjustment, I had to cook food from scratch and get the kids to eat it?! That was way too much for me to handle while I was adjusting to my new and pretty limiting diet.
I didn’t have a huge range of food I ate in the first place and if I waited until I got really hungry, sometimes I would just cry at the thought of cooking. I found healthy and easy dinners to make the kids and ended up being a short order cook. I worked very hard when the kids were babies and toddlers to avoid that happening and I landed in the very situation I tried very hard to avoid for almost a year. I would make my food, and let the kids choose what they were eating. So you guessed it! I usually was heating up something AND cooking something two other meals!
My plan was to go food shopping after church and spend the afternoon cooking 2 -3 meals that we can all eat while also baking treats for the upcoming week. I was knocking out two birds with one stone! Setting myself up for success and connecting with the kids through baking and cooking.
While we were shopping that first week, the kids ended up each choosing something to bake. They were responsible for gathering the items we needed to make their treat, as well as the mixing bowls and other utensils. They helped with all the measurements and we talked about why we do certain things in cooking and baking so that they understand the science behind food. I was able to get my dishes cooked as well.
Then it was time to try out our creations. The boys were interested in what the other had chosen, I mean seriously we are not a picky bunch when it comes to sweets. So the kids traded tastes of each others choice. I gave myself a pat on the back for getting through the whole exercise having food in the fridge for the week and the kids shared!
What I didn’t see coming happened the next day.
Snack time came and each child wanted to sample some of the other’s treat. One had more than the other, so we talked about needing to plan out and budget our food if we wanted our treat to last until the next day we baked. We took the pan of brownies and cut them up into pieces instead of it being in one big pan. Then we counted the pieces. My oldest knew that if he planned to eat one every day until Saturday, he still had 7 pieces left over. He allocated 3 to his brother and 2 each to my husband and I. My youngest repeated the same process with his muffins. They now were equipped with the information they needed to make informed choices about how much and when they would eat their treats.
We are learning about planning, sharing, budgeting and restraint!
I was delighted that we could learn this lesson in a fun way. I am very hesitant to give the kids an allowance. I don’t mind letting them earn money, but it would have to be out of the house or from making an effort to reduce the cost of the monthly expenses of the house. For example, we have challenged ourselves to use only a half tank of gas each week. The savings goes in a pot for vacation money. We don’t offer money for extra chores, Our motto is that if it needs to be done, it’s part of living there. By doing the work, we are rewarded by having a nice, clean place to live. We have been baking treats for a month now. Sometimes their treat lasts the whole week and sometimes it doesn’t. But what I do love is the connection we are making and all the lessons we are learning by simply cooking food and baking treats.