Cooking and Bonding with Children
Cooking for My Kids
I have 3 teenagers. Two boys and a girl. Their initials are Nat, Oli and Lukey. Food is always in the minds of people. We get hungry, we look for food, we ask for food (especially my kids)... "Dad, what is for lunch?".... "Dad, I am hungry.... Is there anything to eat?". I kind of became their chef... yes, and I just love doing it. My wife loves to bake.... I love to cook. It is alright when I am not too busy or engrossed with my work. I work from home, and sometimes had to meet dead lines of my clients. When I am not, I will walk to the supermarket, and buy things to cook, things I know my children love to eat. I may sometimes open the fridge to see what is available and whipped up something quickly.
Bonding through Teaching
When I tell people in a group meeting that I cook for my family... their jaws dropped. You mean you can cook??? Another guy who cooks for his family shared the same sentiments. He shared that he too has created this bond with his kids because he cooks for them... and try to do their favourites.... So, I am not wrong, neither am I eccentric. I am the envy of wives whose husbands do not cook..... "can you give a few lessons to my husband?".... well, well, well... I always tell them that it is not easy to learn, it is just one of my keen interests and passions.
Last week, I had my daughter Oli (16 yr old) to help make chinese dumplings. I taught her how to fold and wrap the dough over the meat (minced pork, shrimps, chopped water chestnut) stuffing. She said she will just do a few... as she got into the fun of it, she completed most of it for me. It was time well spent with my daughter, as she kept asking me "dad.... is this correct? Is this too small?" I truly enjoyed it. We had Macaroni in Dumpling soup for dinner that evening. At times.... I would employ their helps in cutting vegetables or meat, or just frying some eggs. Simple tasks... and yet imparting a life skill also.
Bonding through Providing a Good Meal
Two days ago, I had prepared black pepper beef, fried eggs with anchovies, and a stir fried vegetable dish... with white rice. Then my youngest boy Lukey requested for noodles with chicken sausage. He prefers soft food like ham, sausages, eggs, very tender meat... as a dad who wants to see him eat a good meal, I did it for him. He finished his big bowl of noodles. My two older ones just finished everything I cooked for them. I am glad they did. If they have finished it all... I know for sure I have cooked some of their favorites.
When it comes to meal time, I know I am thought of and thanked for. I do get feedback from them, especially when I want to check how they felt about a certain dish that I have just created....was it too salty, spicy hot, do they like it. A word of "thank you".... sometimes says it all... I have done my part.
Breakfast - A Good Start
Dads..... It took me about 20 years to observe, try and experiment with all kinds of ingredients... (watch cooking shows on TV) to be able to open the fridge and freezer to see what is available and cook up a presentable meal. You may want to start with preparing a nice breakfast of bacon and eggs. For lunch, maybe a nice ham or roast beef sandwich... and dinner, you may want to start with simple fried rice with a fried egg. I would see if I can start to write some of simple recipes... to start with.
Start it simple and continue to bond with your kids with food.