with Amy Urquhart
I’m Amy and I’ve spent the last three years trying to strike that perfect balance between being a wife, mom and professional career woman. I’ve decided that I’ll never perfect the art of “having it all”, but this blog is a chronicle of my attempts to continue to do so. I’m a blogger (my personal blog about Canadian home life is Hearts into Home), gardener, college instructor, wife to Graham and mom to Nate. If you’re also a working mom who finds there just aren’t enough hours in the day, I hope you’ll enjoy this column!
Read her blog at Hearts into Home.
With the focus on childhood obesity and the emphasis on healthy eating, it only makes sense to include your kids when it comes to planning out their meals. But, as all busy parents know, working through a recipe with a tiny helper can make the meal take twice as long (or longer) to prepare—that’s a difficult trade-off when you’re dealing with the witching hour.
A recent article in The New York Times suggested that bringing back home economics classes might be the key to controlling our nation’s obesity epidemic. And I think that’s a great idea.
My middle school and high school didn’t offer home ec, but my parents had me cooking at an early age: I was 10 when my mom opened a restaurant, and she had been baking bread for local restaurants and running a catering business from home for years before that, so I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t making messes in the kitchen. I clearly remember arguing, in first grade, that Laura Ingalls Wilder had been allowed to cook over a real fire in “Little House in the Big Woods” when she was 5 and so I should be allowed to use our electric stove unassisted, rather than confining my cooking to things that didn’t require heat. My parents disagreed, but soon after that my dad, a gourmet cook himself, was gamely choking down the overcooked pasta and undercooked vegetables that I’d proudly set on the table.
My childhood is far from today’s norm. “Too many Americans simply don’t know how to cook,” the New York Times article points out. “Our diets, consisting of highly processed foods made cheaply outside the home thanks to subsidized corn and soy, have contributed to an enormous health crisis.” State-, local-, and federal-government led initiatives aren’t having enough of an impact, either; most public schools offer sugar-laden chocolate milk and fake juice in the cafeterias, but not water, and Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign “has inspired right-wing panic about a secret food police,” the article points out.
But home ec? At a time when junk-food fills the shelves in corner stores and “food deserts” exist in urban areas, maybe having schools formally teach kids how to make a simple meal or two is something parents can support.
Are you teaching your kids to cook? What’s their favorite thing to make with you, or on their own?
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