Parenting is a huge responsibility which has life-altering effects on the children. Most of us can remember with joy the good times of our childhood and, with sadness, those not-so-good times.
As parents, what memories will you pass on to your children? Often their future practices will include their favourite memories from their childhood years.
Pass on healthy habits
Introduce children to a variety from all food groups. Have them appreciate all foods, especially whole foods, by preparing them in tasty ways as part of their meals. Don't pass on your food biases.
Teach them how to use economical foods, such as foods in season, to make mouth-watering healthy dishes such as soups, stews, one-pot rice, and ground-provision dishes.
Encourage family time, have children take part in food shopping, preparation and service. There is so much to learn from these experiences. Have family meals together as often as possible. Teach children to share, share meals with shut-ins, neighbours and other children who have less.
Teach social graces; we are in an era of fast food. Most children eat very often from boxes, paper bags and drink from bottles and boxes. Many teenagers and even young adults do not know how to behave during a meal served at a table. They do not know how to use the cutlery and place setting, or about simple table manners. Ensure that you pass on acceptable etiquette through practice.
Teach your children how to serve - serve their siblings and parents. Teach the boys to serve the girls and the girls to serve their brothers. Teach them the value of preparing a meal and serving someone without expecting it to be reciprocated.
Parenting is a huge responsibility, pass on the values you can benefit from in your golden years, and that will also enrich the next generation.
by Rosalee M. Brown