As Dad’s Day nears, I am thankful for the man who can cook. Especially for the man who taught my son to cook: my husband.
Happy Father’s Day to all those who have had a hand in pancake batter and an eye on the future adults they are fortunate to raise.
You are important role models for our children.
My son has been making (or involved in the making of) pancakes for years. This wouldn’t be the case if it weren’t for his Dad.
Around age two, my son became keenly interested in cooking. I don’t know if he was hard-wired this way or if it is a natural part of every child’s interest and desire, but he was into cooking. It so happened my husband was usually in charge of the weekend breakfast.
Weekends were much more extravagant than the weekday bowl of cereal and fruit, as my husband often included bacon or sausage, eggs, pancakes, real maple syrup and real butter.
My husband’s morning routine was something everyone looked forward to—even the three big sisters–and their friends. Ask anyone who visits our home for an overnight…my husband always makes an effort to feed everyone a nice breakfast in the mornings.
And so cooking began at an early age for my son.
At age two, he sat on the countertop and attentively watched the proceedings, from cracking eggs to pouring and mixing the batter. At that time, he was content to sit and observe.
By age four, he was cracking the eggs, measuring pancake mix and milk, and mixing it all together. Yes, still sitting on the counter with a bowl straddled between his legs.
At age five, he was pouring batter on the griddle and my husband was letting him practice flipping pancakes, standing on a step-stool.
At the ripe age of seven, the little guy wanted to do it all by himself. He had the pancake ingredients and production steps memorized. While Dad supervised, my son took the lead. Yes it was slow, and sometimes messy, but patience always won.
At twelve, my son moved on to making many other foods like tuna fish salad, fried rice, grilled cheese, pasta, hot chocolate, scones, scrambled and fried eggs, to name a few. He rarely needs help, and is a self-starter in the kitchen.
At sixteen, my son can cook many things, is confident in the kitchen and creative as well. He can take care of his nutrition needs.
And it all started with pancakes!
Some fathers teach their kids life skills like washing the car, changing the oil, mowing the grass, shoveling snow, and taking out the trash.
But, when Dads are good role models to their boys and girls, teaching them how to cook, there are some essential and important messages being passed along.
- Cooking is fun.
- Cooking is a shared and important task for both women and men.
- Cooking is a life skill that is important for health, wellness and survival.
- Cooking is a skill everyone should master, regardless of gender.
While many of us look to moms to teach the household skills to children, I think we overlook a powerful and positive role model in Dads. I think it’s time to welcome more Dads in the kitchen to teach their sons and daughters how to cook–even if it starts with pancakes (and a little bacon on the side!).
Written by: Jill Castle, MS, RDN
Published on: June 11, 2014
Updated on: July 24, 2019