Credits: Ashley Tyrner

Feeding The Future: How Cooking With Your Children Impacts Their Generation

by | May 7, 2019

Cooking with your children is more than just an activity. It has a deeper impact and if there was one activity that could bind a parent and kid more closely, it is the fun-filled impromptu cooking. No matter what the result is, you’ll always end up creating fond memories to cherish forever. Founder and CEO of Farmbox Direct, Ashley Tyrner loves cooking with her 8-year-old daughter, Harlow. The lovely mom-daughter duo enjoyed it so much that they even started a company (Ashley’s second company) called Harlow’s Harvest. Their aim is to help turn your mini-me into a nutritionist, ecologist, and a chef- without even letting them know it.

Here’s what the author Ashley has to say about cooking with your children. Read the story in her own words.

cooking with your children
Image by Th G from Pixabay

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Feeding The Future: How Cooking With Your Children Impacts Their Generation

Wake up and get your kids ready for school. Check.

Drop them off and head to work. Check.

Get off of work and pick your children up. Check.

Take them to their afterschool activities. Check.

Pick them up. Check.

Feed them something quick and easy. Check.

Get them ready for bed. Check.

And get ready to do it all over again tomorrow…

This autopilot routine is one that we all have probably adopted at some point along this parenting journey. School and work become our biggest priorities, and we offer little thought to the precious moments that make life enriched with love, connection, and joy. And when it comes to preparing meals, many of us opt for the quickest and easiest dishes to make our young ones.

Let’s instead, schedule in a meal at least once a week that includes the hands of our tiny helpers. Cooking together is an opportunity to spend quality time with our children, teach them valuable life skills, and boost their confidence, all of which will help them move through life with the chin held high.

Quality Time

Photo provided by Ashley Tyrner

As our kids grow older, it starts to feel like their independent lives are blossoming out of the pot of soil that we planted. Juggling school, sports, study time and sleepovers seem to speed up the movement of life and before we know it, our little babies, well, aren’t exactly babies anymore.

The conversations may get shorter and happen less frequently as we are both out and about being committed to the commands of daily life. We must seek out opportunities to engage more with our children. And what a better opportunity, than in the heart of the home, the kitchen!

Studies have shown that not only is eating meals as a family a wonderful way to connect, but it may even reduce the likelihood of children choosing risky behaviors. While preparing a meal with your loved one, the gate is open to talk and communicate freely. Talk with them about what’s going on at school and with their classmates, and dive into what subjects they are the most interested in. This sacred time should feel like a safe space for you and your children to have an easy-going, honest conversation. When children are comfortable speaking with their parents, they communicate with their peers and other respected adults with more self-assurance. It is imperative that our children believe in themselves from a young age, especially considering how social media is wiring them to compare seek out validation from others.

Valuable Life Skills

Photo provided by Ashley Tyrner

Aside from cooking itself being an essential life skill, budgeting and understanding how the foods you eat will affect your body are two byproducts of cooking with their kids. Just by planning to cook one meal together, you are afforded with a myriad of chances to give little teaching lessons. Before the water gets boiled, make sure to go over what you will be making and how much of each ingredient you will need. Utilize a list to show them the importance of planning and using their math skills to add or subtract what is needed.

Another lesson you can slide into during this meal is informing your children about the foods you are preparing. Slipping in quick benefits is as simple as, “we have to buy carrots so we can have eyesight like Superman!” Or, “let’s add some beans to this recipe for protein to make you grow big and strong!” This is the start of them learning healthy eating. Once they see, hear, and take part in preparing nutritious meals, they will be more likely to want to model this behavior when they are away from you.

Boosting Confidence

Photo provided by Ashley Tyrner

There is a certain rise in the chin that comes from creating a delicious tasting meal. While you are cooking with your children, there will be times where they can help you with easy tasks like stirring, measuring, reading steps, and even with setting the table. While it is always flattering to hear someone compliment your meal, for a child knowing that he or she assisted in making the creation too, this will give them confidence and the fulfillment of completing something. Over time as you incorporate more family cooking, your helpers’ responsibilities will heighten, eventually granting your kids with the confidence to make a yummy, healthy dish on their own.

When children are confident within themselves and their capabilities, they step out and become the leaders of our future. We as parents must do our best to feed them with an honest appreciation for their efforts that will add to their self-esteem. They will then take that confidence and transform it into their hobbies, extracurricular activities, and other moments presented to them to step forward.

Peek into your busy schedule and seek out a weeknight dinner or weekend afternoon where you can spend time cooking a meal with your children. Give them moments of independence and self-growth to aid you during the process. The quality time, valuable life skills and boosted confidence will fuel their little minds with the ability to complete any goals along their journeys.

Do you love cooking with you children? What is your absolute favorite way to spend time with your kids? Comment below.

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Ashley Tyrner

Ashley Tyrner is the founder and CEO of Farmbox Direct. Ashley has gone from being a single mom on food stamps to the CEO of a national brand that aims to eradicate the food desert problem America faces. With a clear conviction that all people should have access to organic food, Ashley works tirelessly to disrupt the food policy space. Ashley currently lives in New York City with her eight-year-old daughter, Harlow, while running her business that currently boasts $5 million in revenue. In 2019, Tyrner launched her second company, alongside her daughter, Harlow’s Harvest – a monthly subscription box that teaches children their way around the kitchen and the importance of nutrition in a fun and interactive format.

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