5 EASY Tips to Create Your Family Food Culture
Establishing your family food culture isn’t just about the food you prepare. It’s also about how your family comes together over that food; it’s about the spices and ingredients you consistently use and the stories told over the dinner table.
Thinking about planning and execution of our family food culture is something I love to do, but you don’t have to overthink it. Motherhood can feel overwhelming and adding one more thing on our list, one more thing to teach and values to impart can make us all a little locita.
5 Easy Tips to Create Family Food Culture
With our busy lives demanding so much, who has time to worry about creating a family food culture, anyway? When it comes to feeding our families, it’s easy to get lost in meal planning and budgeting, nutrition, organic vs gmo-free. There’s SOOO much to think about these days! But whether we want one or not, creating a family food culture isn’t just something that will happen one day…it happens every day.
Here are 5 easy, real life tips that help me drop the extra stuff and create a food culture that anchors my family in the values we find most important.
Utilize grocery shopping to teach your values: Being that he’s still in preschool, Sebastian is almost always with me when I do our family’s grocery shopping. Also, he has our family’s sweetest tooth. Anything with fancy packaging and pretty pictures that promise a delicious treat only sweetens the deal for him. So, instead of the constant fight to add healthy choices in our cart, I gave him a mission with specific guidelines when it comes to sugar intake. Treats with 25,768 grams of sugar per serving? Keep hunting, buddy.
He has so much fun finding treats that meet our values and feels like a champion when he is able to add his choice to our cart.
Identify the flavors of your family’s cultural palette: Growing up bicultural means I’ve noticed lots of differences in the way families are fed. As a mom, I make sure my kids eat a wide variety of flavors from my bicultural upbringing. From burgers and homemade pizza to pollo con mojo or bistec empanizado. Once I identified the core flavors that make up the foundation of our food culture (mainly, spices like cumin, sofrito, garlic and onions, black and red beans, various chilis, etc), I was able to quickly create week night meals to reinforce our cultural heritage.
Minimize your cleaning routine: I can’t start cooking when my kitchen countertops are a mess, but having to clean, disinfect and deodorize takes so much time! Lately I’ve been using a new product that gives me one less thing to do when tackling my cleaning routine in the kitchen. Clorox® Scentiva™ helps kill any lingering germs and viruses, but also freshens my home, making it smell great. Instead of adding more tasks to my ever growing to-do list, I’m able to simplify and get to the important stuff of raising a family legacy, having one less thing to worry about.
Prioritize family meal time: This is a nonnegotiable for us. We sit down together to eat almost every night. My husband and I consider this time as investments in the relationships with our kids. The focused time we spend at the table is the foundation of our family’s food culture.
Tell stories about the past, not just the present: Do you ever lament over the stories lost to the next generation? The people you’ve loved and lost that your kids didn’t get to meet? For us that’s my father-in-law and my grandfather, two beautiful men that my children never knew. And lately, I’ve been trying my best to pass down their memory to them during dinner time because…well, we’re busy people!
Merging family legacy with your everyday food culture is a great way to have one less thing nagging at your heart strings at the end of the night. Check off all the things you want your kids to know, feel and remember as they grow up! Of course you want to ask them how their day went, but maybe use dinner time as a time to share stories that would otherwise be lost.