How My Son and I Found Our Special Place
My son is 12yrs old now, but in that time life has proven to be a bit of a crazy rollercoaster for him. We all go through good times and bad times, that’s just life. But through all of it he’s amazed me with his resilience and strength. We human beings can really be amazing creatures can’t we?
Connection has been something he as craved, but has found difficult to find outside of his family. Sometimes connection is even hard to find within your own family, but as parenting author and educator Maggie Dent says, “the great memories of our childhoods play an important role in our outlook on life….building memories that last occurs simply when we repeat significantly positive experiences“.
Through the ritual of cooking, a major point of connection for Orlando and I (I do not, and will not, play golf!) is the kitchen. For us, it’s a place where we can talk about life’s problems and stresses and fritter them away into the ether, to replace them with a sense of peace, joy and fun.
In the kitchen it’s just me, my son … and food!
Pic: Banana-Choc Cinnamon Icecream from Real Food For Hungry Teens
Everything just feels all right when we are in there together. It’s our own little club where we can relate and speak on the same level, try new approaches and create different taste sensations. I have the extra sense of smell, but he definitely has the highly evolved taste buds!
Sure, we’ll disagree on recipes from time to time (and can’t he put his foot down?!), but for the most part, our time spent together here is a very grounded and deep.
Food and nutrition has been an important part of my life since before he was born. I suppose it’s only natural that some of this will rub off on him, and he has certainly grown up to embrace my love of good food.
Pic: Hearty Black Bean and Sweet Corn Quesadilla
He trusts me enough to tell me when he’s indulged and made some poor choices (which happens more often as he gets more freedom and autonomy), even though he knows I won’t be that happy about it. I guess he feels he can confide in me because he knows the reason I won’t be happy is simply because I love him. I think he trusts me because he doesn’t feel judged, or that he’s let me down.
I do my best not to create fear around food, and the key (to me) is to not be judgmental. Who needs it, right?! It’s about teaching the right lessons and our kitchen experiences allow opportunities for explaining why good, real food is so beneficial. I find that accentuating the positives naturally draws us to positive habits. In doing so, I’m comfortable that I have given him the right set of tools to make the right choices, and can trust him to do so, even if he goes through the inevitable period of rebellion.
My son is big, bustling, sporty, developing and HUNGRY and needs as much nourishment as he can get. It’s critical for his development, but even more important is making sure it’s the right kind of nourishment – the kind that his body requires for sustainable, long term development.
So, this is why we decided to write a recipe book together. And it’s one of the most important things I’ve created in my work because my son and I created it together.
I know I will cherish the memory of this experience forever, as well as all our special moments in the kitchen. I have a feeling he will too.
When I tell him that one day his future wife will thank me for teaching him how to cook, and how lucky his own kids will be having a Dad who knows how to nourish them, he shoots me his proudest grin.
REAL FOOD FOR HUNGRY TEENS is the eBook we created together. We hope you love all the recipes and maybe even create beautiful long-lasting kitchen memories together.
About the eBook: Created by certified health coach, Brenda Janschek, and her hungry and creative son Orlando, this eBook contains a rich variety of over 20 nourishing, real food recipes designed to satisfy the tastebuds and growth requirements of developing teenagers.
Teenage years place a great burden on the body as it transforms into adulthood. These tasty recipes are designed to help our growing kids through this period of physical, emotional and intellectual upheaval with food that actually supports their accelerating growth, without simply resorting to a loaf of bread at each sitting.
You can purchase it here.