Flickr Image: seoulfully
Not so long ago the kitchen was seen as purely a woman’s domain and her husband would rarely if ever offer to step in and help her prepare the evening meal. Thankfully, attitudes towards cooking have radically changed, and ironically there are now more male, than female professional chefs out there. The old stereotypes that dad can’t be trusted with anything more than cereal, or when dad says he’s cooking kids immediately reach for the take-out menu are slowly fading away.
Over the last ten years our TV schedules have become jam-packed with cooking shows that have been dominated by men; from loud-mouthed Gordon Ramsay’s Hells Kitchen, to Jamie Oliver’s Healthy Foods and Greg Wallace’s and John Turrode’s Masterchef. Dads all over the world are getting the memo that actually it’s perfectly acceptable to don an apron once in awhile and get crazy creative in the kitchen. Our obsession with buying time-saving devices also means that guys are being lured in by a shiny range of appliances, kitchen gadgets and top of the range BBQ grills that could turn even the most hands-off father into a culinary mastermind!
Now, a whole new era of dad led cooking is dawning with food blogs being one of the primary sources of inspiration. Men are proudly posing on social media with complex dishes and meals they’ve cooked from scratch, eagerly trying out recipes recommended by fellow bloggers and spending hours at the weekend in farmer’s markets amongst fresh, wholesome produce before cooking a slap up family dinner.
Setting A Good Example
We all know that kids are sponges so whatever you teach them now will form the basis of their lifelong opinions. While equality is a lot better than it used to be, women are still lagging behind when it comes to pay grades, career promotions and even political representation as less than 20% of women make up Congress. It may not seem like a big thing today, but you heading into the kitchen, donning a flowering or funny face apron and making some lion cupcakes with your kids is something they’ll remember. When men willingly do domestic chores leaving their wife with free time to paint, DIY or study it shows kids that women are capable of so much more than just making brownies.
It’s A Basic Life Skill
It may sound harsh, but without food, human beings can’t survive and unless you want to be paying your kids take away bills then teaching them how to cook is vital. Being able to prepare, cook and eat food you’ve made yourself is incredibly important as it’ll save you a fortune on expensive dinners out. Encouraging healthy habits now, for example making homemade soup with a blender recommended by Healthy But Smart is a much better choice than buying packet products as by making your own you’ll know every ingredient the meal contains. Not only will kids become familiar with a range of ingredients they’ll know how to make them taste fantastic too. Cooking also teaches kids a range of other practical skills including math based learning in baking times, temperature conversions and weighing out ingredients as well as learning when to take the initiative and when to follow instructions correctly. Spending time in the kitchen also teaches children the value of waiting, for example, bread needs time to rise so it’s important that they learn not everything happens at once.
Overcome Their Fears
If your child has had a bad culinary experience in the past, perhaps been accidentally burned or cut themselves it can leave a nasty taste in the mouth and the mind. Dads tend to be more relaxed when it comes to cooking simply because different people have different styles. While cooking with mom can sometimes feel like a food tech lesson, helping dad will seem more far more spontaneous, fresh and fun because of the novelty factor.
If it’s you who doesn’t particularly enjoy getting into the kitchen or find your culinary skills are somewhat lacking, then you’ll also be teaching kids about the importance of not giving up, even when you’ve ended up burning your second batch of fairy cakes and have to start over! Cooking is also an ideal time to reach out to your children. Under the cover of making a lasagna you can ask them about their day, chat to them in a happy no-pressure environment about any problems they have or just take the time to catch up on their lives. Kids grow up very quickly, so it’s important that you make the most of the time they want to be around you instead of off hanging out with their friends.
Flickr Image: fotologic