Cooking Your Way Through a Divorce
Written By: Divorce Matters
Divorce Matters supports Cooking Matters Colorado’s work to end childhood hunger and empower caregivers of children ages 0-5 to stretch their food budgets and cook healthy meals at home. Their team guest wrote this article to share their observations of why cooking really does matter.
Going through a divorce can be challenging for all members of the family. Simply put, there are many complex issues that need to be addressed. For families with children, this transition time is especially sensitive. One of the major areas of concern: eating meals. While this may sound somewhat simplistic, the benefits of healthy family dinners cannot be overstated.
Research indicates that kids benefit from healthy family dinners. Divorce often breaks up a family’s previous routine. This can lead to a loss of the traditional family dinner, and it can potentially result in worse physical and psychological health outcomes for children. The good news is that it does not have to be this way: A commitment to cooking healthy meals can help parents and children get through trying times together.
Cooking Matters Colorado empowers families and caregivers of children ages 0-5 with the skills to cook healthy meals. After Cooking Matters courses, families report cooking meals together 55% more often. For parents and children going through a challenging time, cooking can be a productive and creative outlet. One of the major benefits of cooking is that you and your children can foster your own individual sense of creativity: you can make whatever you want. For thousands of years, cultures all around the globe have used meal preparation as a time for creativity and mindfulness. Beyond the opportunity for self-expression, cooking is also highly productive. By making your own meals at home, you can reduce your family’s reliance on other meal options, including restaurant dinners, fast food, and unhealthy frozen food. Not only will you and your children be able to live a healthier lifestyle, but you will be able to save money.
For families going through a divorce, in-home cooking has the added benefit of helping parents bond with their children. When you teach your children about the importance of healthy shopping and cooking habits, you instill valuable life skills. The benefits of grocery shopping and healthy cooking with your children go far beyond simply getting them their meal for the day. There are considerable, well-established benefits for kids when they spend time cooking with their parents. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), the benefits to children can include:
- Stronger bonds with their parents and their siblings;
- A boost of self-esteem;
- An earned sense of accomplishment;
- Valuable life skills; and
- An increased appreciation for healthy food options.
We all know the temptations that exist in modern American culture; you seemingly cannot turn on the television without seeing several commercials for fast food and other unhealthy meal options. These temptations can be especially hard to resist for young children. Shopping and cooking with your children can help. Preparing healthy meals with your children can help both you and they get through a difficult divorce and move forward, living happy and healthy lives.