Monday, 4 January 2010

My thoughts on {eating and cooking together as a family}

Mamma's new pasta maker

I try really hard to involve the boys, whenever possible, in cooking or food preparation. It means a lot of mess and things take a lot longer, but it also means they know how to cook, where their food comes from and are more likely to eat it!

I am very lucky in that my number one son has good table manners, number two is definitely more fussy and gets away with more! We have always taken them to pubs and restaurants from an early age, so that as they grow up, they know how to behave. Not that we go to a lot of restaurants, but even ordering a plate of chips means they order, then have to sit and behave, whilst they wait. They love it, they like sitting at a bar and asking for a blackcurrant squash "with a straw and no ice please" and they like the fact they feel grown up. We have been in some pubs where the locals have frowned upon us, but we usually only have one drink and then go, with two fidgety children, we know when not to push it! It also means that we feel as if we haven't given up everything in our lives for the children, as going out together is so rare, a fleeting moment when the boys are sat happily blowing bubbles down their straws, is enough for us!

At home they make pasta, help bake cakes, spreading, making jams, stews, popcorn and porridge. I closely supervise anything that involves the oven and don't allow them to handle sharp knives yet. We try to sit down and eat together as often as possible at the table, laying the table, carrying things to and from the table and sometimes even writing or drawing menu's {another sneaky way to encourage writing!}.

We have huge pressures on time and at least once a week, I forget to take meat out of the freezer so serve up pizza's! Besides I grew up on fish fingers, faggots and smash and I turned out alright ~ didn't I?


  1. I can absolutely agree on all that you have mentioned, our 2 boys eat well, behave well and certainly know and enjoy how to cook! People always ask me how do I get them to eat things like brussel sprouts? Show them where it comes from (allotment!), how to cook it and try it!
    You have made me want to get the pasta machine out, its been a while since I used it and I know the boys will love it!

  2. I was lucky enough to live for a few years in Sardinia when I was young, even at the age of 6 or 7 we would be out at the local pizzeria until 10 in the evening with our families and friends, (siestas were also part of the day!). It was just a way of life, but one that has taught me to love food and the social aspect of sharing time with family and friends. It is a shame that in Britain we do not embrace this culture as much as the Europeans.

  3. i think that's a great way to live life with your boys...i hope to do the same as a family down the line. sharing and knowing food and enjoying it together is a foundation for so much. i wish it were like that in more homes here in uk. as tamara said the europeans have it sussed : )

  4. I love cooking with my two even though the eldest is not yet three. Even better, they love it too.

  5. just catching up with some old posts. So agree with this - dinner time is sacred in our family - I eat with the children in the week as M doesn't get home til too late for them, but we lay the table every night, light candles and say a simple seasonal verse before eating together. I'm proud of the fact that both of mine (age 6 and 2) have good table manners for their age, and eat a wide range of foods - such an important thing to do to set them up for a healthy lifestyle for the rest of their lives. Both love cooking and baking too - it's one of our favourite activities on wet days!


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