Welcome to the Connecting Kitchen!
Healing Hearts and Health
The process of cooking can mend and strengthen relationships, as well as improve your physical health. When I meet with people, my first desire is that they come out of the session happier and healthier than they were when we started.
To give you an idea of what’s possible from using cooking as a family therapy or team building activity, here’s the background on why Connecting Kitchen started.
A Little Bit About My Story
For years I’d been trying to find a way to connect with my oldest son. Nothing worked. We could not spend 5 minutes in a room together (or on the phone) without arguing or shouting until… we started cooking together. I paid him at first because he needed the money, and he begrudgingly agreed. But we quickly realized it was fun. Too busy chopping, stirring, or mixing to be fighting, anyway. The conversation was a little angry at first or non-existent, but eventually it flowed.
What’s ironic is that most of the reason we fought had a lot to do with food. Living on a diet of waffles and cookies and soda and fast food, it was no surprise that he was moody, irritable and unreasonable. Who can function on that? I always knew if I could get him to choose healthier foods that life would be better for both of us. Making the food TOGETHER was the secret.
Of course it wasn’t quite that simple. Choosing the recipe was our first challenge. He wanted all the heavy, high calorie man food, while I was leaning toward light and healthy and lean. So we compromised on healthy burritos, leaner burgers, and smaller portions. Although it was difficult at first (many arguments at the grocery store), we started to figure it out together.
We have learned so much along the way! There are so many lessons you can learn in the kitchen. There is planning and budgeting and shopping, learning how to choose healthy foods and proper portion size, listening (to each other) and following instructions, estimating and measuring, and most importantly, working as a team with respect for each other.
The bottom line is when we are cooking together we are spending time together, creating delicious food together, feeling a sense of accomplishment together, tasting and eating the food together, cleaning up together, and celebrating success and laughing at the failures together. Before you know it, you have a relationship! No pressure, no requirements, just cooking. It’s been over a year now and the rewards are bigger than I could have imagined!
I’d love for you to join us on our journey as we continue to repair and grow our relationship. All I can say is if you want to connect with your kids, try the kitchen. I have built stronger relationships with my other children as well. I have been cooking with my daughter since she could walk, maybe even before. My younger son loves to eat so we often find ourselves chatting and connecting while he’s waiting patiently (impatiently) for dinner.
I still cook with my mom and love every minute!
Check out our videos for some quick, easy, and tasty meals and see how fun and rewarding it can be to cook with your kids!