I am a bit of a control freak. I accept this about myself. My family’s tolerance for it, however, depends on the day. One of the things I have attempted to control over the years (with widely varying degrees of success) is what and how my family eats. I pack lunches almost every day for my husband and kids making sure to include protein rich foods, fruit and small portions of packaged chips and cookies. This HAS to be better than what they serve in the public school cafeterias. How much damn pizza can kids eat anyway? Turns out, a lot. Every day if you let them.
I have tried to teach my children about the importance of good nutrition and the role food should play in our lives since they were weaned. I grew up with a Mom who cooked most nights of the week and in a family where the evening meal was usually shared. My husband did not. He grew up in a house where his single Mom worked the night shift in an automotive plant to provide for her children following her divorce from their Dad. Getting my husband and kids to the table for dinner has been a bit of a struggle over the years. There was a time when the kids would prefer to eat a bowl of cereal and cuddle up with their ipads while Dad tinkers away at his latest project. I am happy to report that this dynamic is changing.
They come home from school and ask “what’s for dinner?” They are coming to the table when called, they are eating and praising the food, making requests for certain dishes and they are clearing the table afterwards. This makes me very happy. My son is 14 and it blows my mind that in 4 short years he will be off to college. The years are going by so fast. We are a household where both parents work full-time, the kids go to school and play sports and time together as a family is waning. Having dinner together when we can feels more important than ever.
Eating at home is less expensive and usually a lot healthier than dining out (not always though, we do love our fried chicken around here). As I pursue my love of food and cooking, I am finding that the meals I make at home are usually tastier than what I can get at a restaurant. My hubs even commented recently….”Ronnie you are rocking the food lately.” My heart swells. For me, food is how I love my family. And the dinner table is sacred.