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The B4FD Project features blog posts from guest writers that explore the far-reaching benefits of family dinner.

Family Dinner Month 2012: Sept 17 -- Oct 29, 2012

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B4FD Reflections: Today is a Gift

by Billy Mawhiney

This month, Blog for Family Dinner founders will reflect back on some lessons learned from our B4FD guest bloggers over the past year.

We live in a different world than the one we grew up in. Time seems less and responsibilities seem more. Parents can sometimes feel like cab drivers more often then not, and conversations sometimes occur frequently on the train or in the car as opposed to the dinner table. This simply is not the case for anyone but certainly is for some.

As I sat down at my computer in reflection, reading over blog posts from the past year, I kept going back to “My Little Kitchen Helpers,” from Rebecca Horsmann. Rebecca hits the target that having kids in the kitchen can certainly slow you down. Rebecca writes:

My kids (aged 4 and almost 2) love to “help” me cook, and it definitely slows me down! However, I want to encourage them to learn. To be truly independent, everyone should learn at least basic food preparation skills. I have seen some adults so intimidated in the kitchen that they don’t want to try, and must depend on someone else, on convenience foods or on restaurants. I want my kids to grow up feeling comfortable in the kitchen.

I try to let my kids help when I am not feeling rushed or stressed out. Then I can stay patient so that we all have fun while they slow me down, make a mess and learn their way around a kitchen.

The families in our Kitchen Kids Family Cooking Class experience this first hand. The best part of the day is when they put their casserole in the oven and I send the families out to go sit around the tables and talk about what happened in the kitchen. What did they learn? How did everyone help? What ingredients went inside the dish? Their time just became more valuable in that moment.

This is not an everyday option. We may not have the time to allow our children in the kitchen to help, but it is definitely an investment for returns later. When we teach our children the value of food and necessity of it for our health, we deposit a “virtual coin” into the piggy bank. One day we hope they break that bank open and cash in those “virtual coins” with their children. Remember the next stir that ends up half out of the bowl, or the uneven lasagna layer, it is all worth it in the end.

“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift, that is why it is called the present”

~Author Unknown

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