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A couple of weeks ago, friends invited our family over for dinner. I always want a homemade dinner – cooked by someone else! My mom said to my husband when we married, “She’s a great cook when she cooks.” It’s the truth. I don’t love cooking. I don’t even like cooking.

 

I cook because I want our children to eat real food and learn how to make great tasting meals.

 

When my kids were younger, I pretended to like cooking and baking because I thought they’d love me more if I was that kind of mom. But the charade became exhausting.

 

After reading a nutrition research article, I realized I don’t have to love cooking to teach our children to love real food or inspire them to make yummy meals. I just have to engage them in the meal process:

 

  • Ask them what they want for dinner this week (meal planning)
  • Ask them to measure and mix the spices or chop the veggies (meal prepping)
  • Ask them to brown the meat or stir the pot (cooking)

 

Initially, engaging our children in the meal process felt like more work! I didn’t pretend I liked it, I just continued to do it.

 

With repetition, we discovered one sister is a baker and the other two are pretty amazing sous-chefs. One shared she LOVES being in the kitchen cooking with me, even though she knows I’m still learning to like it.

 

Being who you are is so refreshing and lovable.

 

Connection is the greatest gift cooking has brought me and one I’d never fully receive pretending to be someone I’m not.

 

Our daughters know they can make great food, like how it tastes, and even improve mom’s feeling towards cooking. Pretty powerful.

 

Oh! And our friends who invited our family over for dinner served us marinated grilled chicken with veggies (see recipe below). Our entire family loved it so much, we made it ourselves and declared it a family favorite.

 

Give it a try!

P.S. Marinade: ½ cup olive oil, ¼ cup red wine vinegar, 1 tsp of each (salt, pepper, basil, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, ground mustard). Marinate chicken, then grill it. Marinate chopped veggies (cucumber, peppers, tomatoes, red onions). Serve with a green salad, rice, and a side of hummus. Top with olives, pine nuts, and feta (if dairy is your thing). Enjoy!

P.P.S. Since I don’t get any enjoyment out of grocery shopping, meal planning, or prepping, our family quickly fell in love with the Green Chef healthy meal kit delivery service. The recipes are quick, with step-by-step instructions and photos so even the youngest can quickly help out. What’s surprising is how tasty these meals are, packed with flavors we haven’t tried recently or sometimes ever.

About the Author: Dr. Sue McCreadie

Sue McCreadie, MD (aka Dr. Sue) is a board-certified pediatric physician and mom of three, with two decades of experience helping thousands of families achieve vibrant health naturally. In her pediatric practice, she helps children achieve health naturally by adapting their diet and lifestyle to optimize their genetics. Since transforming her health and wealth through a science-backed nutritional system, Dr. Sue helps other women and healthcare practitioners live their best life fit and financially free. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with her husband, Dave, and their three children, Kaitlin, Elle, and Addison. www.FitFemFree.com

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