This is the fourth post in our Cooking With Kids Series!
When you teach your children how to cook in a loving and patient environment you are giving them more than just life skills. You aren’t just teaching them to prepare a meal so you don’t have to, or to make their own breakfast or lunch to ease some of the craziness during the day. You are teaching them how to be hospitable!
I know some people struggle with being hospitable. They aren’t sure how to do it, maybe they weren’t raised in a loving home, or a home where the mom taught them how to cook or keep a home or they just may be shy or feel awkward.
You are teaching hospitality when you:
1. Cook and put together a meal for a mom or family in need
We are part of a homeschool group that loves to bless moms in need. We like to cook meals for them not only when they have a new baby but if they are having a difficult season of sickness or a husband that is out of town etc… I like to include my children in this. You can have them help you with the menu or pick out a fun dessert to make for the kids.
Depending on the situation at the home we are delivering to, the kids like to come and help deliver the food and see the smiles on the faces of the meal recipients. This is so great for them to see. They see that we are created for fellowship and for blessing one another in times of need. Seeing this on a regular basis will be ingrained in them and as they are older it will be second nature to want to bless others in need.
2. Cook a special or favorite meal for a family member
Have you ever thought about teaching your kids to be hospitable to each other?!?! We like to do this on birthdays. As the kids get older you will notice them picking up on things like what their siblings like and dislike. It’s a fun treat to have them create a favorite meal or dessert for a family member for either a special occasion or just to be a blessing.
3. Cook with a happy heart:
1 Peter 4:9 – Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. When you are preparing for company to come over do you run around harried and frantic to get the house and kitchen cleaned up in time? Do you snap at your kids and rush everyone around so that you can get dinner on the table before Dad gets home? I hate to admit that I am guilty of this. I have noticed though when I focus on what I am doing and why I am doing it and I have a HAPPY heart while doing it this will show everyone what true hospitality is about.
Here is another verse to memorize:
Phillipians 2:14 – Do ALL things without grumbling or complaining.
4. Cook with a servants heart
I can’t stand raw hamburger meat. I am disgusted when pulling guts out of a whole chicken. Making hot sauce makes my eyes burn and gives me a coughing fit. My family loves hamburgers and we cook whole chickens all the time. My husband loves when I make him datil pepper sauce. I don’t necessarily enjoy making these things, but it feeds my family and blesses them. When my kids see me cooking “gross” things and turning them into lovely, pleasant foods they see a servant’s heart in action. When you work hard in the kitchen and you do it with a happy heart you are showing your kids how to serve.
5. Cook for guests
This seems to be an obvious one. When people think of hospitality they think of specifically having guests into their home. This is definitely a big one, but as you see above, you don’t just have to have people into your home to show hospitality. This is one of my children’s favorite things, having a “guest” over to our house to eat.
In 5 Ways to Make Breakfast All Together I talk about giving your children their own jobs. One of those jobs is the job of tablesetter. They love to set the table for company. They get out the nice tablecloths and placemats (or dollar store placemats and tablecoths, it doesn’t matter) and they set the table nicely and usually find something pretty to put into the middle of it as a centerpiece or maybe they will create their own with
flowers weeds from the yard. You can involve your children with guests by having them take drink orders, carry food to the table, clean up plates and wash them and serve dessert.
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I hope you enjoyed this series and that it gave you some encouragement!
Cooking with kids doesn’t have to be scary and crazy and there are many beautiful lessons your children can learn just through cooking!
Sarah is a wife, daughter of the King and Mama to 4 children (one who is a homeschool graduate!) She is a an eclectic,Charlotte Mason style homeschooler and has been homeschooling for over 16 years now. She is still trying to find the balance between work and keeping a home and says she can only do it by the Grace of God, and Coffee!