Charlotte, I did not like what I thought was the suggestion that only vegetarian children have the responsibility of cooking. To me, that would be the same as the parent who prepares the family meals telling a child who develops food allergies that no allowances will be made for his/her dietary restrictions and the child has to quickly learn how to cook to be able eat within those restrictions. As one would make mealtime adjustments for medical reasons, the same should be done for ethical purposes. Thanks for the clarification.

We have lost the importance of family involvement in meal planning and preparation. We grab take-out and wolf it down with no thought of the actual food. Children aren’t taught about the origins or composition of food, how to plan menus, or how to prepare and serve meals. Heck, most parents these days don’t know the science and art of food and food preparation themselves. I know I’ve been guilty of choosing convenience over health and traditions, which may be okay if alone or if living with another adult who makes the same choices, but I believe strongly that the mealtime dynamics should be different for families with children. When my grandchildren lived with me and now that they visit on weekends, I try to think of meals that we can prepare together. They love cooking and learning about food! They’d rather cook than play video games or watch TV. And cooking teaches them math — an added advantage.

My grandson who cares nothing about vegetarianism gets very involved in how to make adjustments to a recipe to accommodate his sister’s and my dietary preferences. Both kids learn creativity through cooking and they now greatly appreciate food and the effort it takes to produce a healthy, attractive, and tasty meal. They glow with pride when we all sit down to partake of a meal they helped to create.

I was always a writer but lived in a bookkeeper’s body before I found Medium and broke free — well, almost. Working to work less and write more.

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