As a single mum, some of the best parenting support you will ever get will be from other mums – and whether they are a single parent or not themselves, many of them will be able to connect with you over a shared love of food. Nourishing your children so that they have the right fuel to grow and develop into healthy young adults is one of the strongest instincts any mother has, and this makes preparing meals for kids a place of common ground you can use to connect with other mums.
This does not mean you have to find other single mums or mums that have children the same age as yours, as cooking for kids is something that nearly all mothers can relate to and share their expertise in. The following will list four ways you can benefit from connecting with other mums when cooking for the kids.
1. Learning healthy recipes that your kids will love
One of the biggest struggles of raising children is ensuring that they get proper nutrition and aren’t allowed to over-indulge in unhealthy foods. Childhood obesity is a very real issue that can cause lifelong problems, and if you have struggled with weight issues yourself then you will know that you want to avoid your kids going through the same thing.
When you’re a single mother you have even less free time to explore recipes for your kids that they won’t make a fuss about, and this is where assistance from other mums can be incredibly helpful. The other women you connect with can give you recipes that have been successful with their children and/or help you look for new ones to try when you are pressed for time.
2. Saving time
Since being a single mum means juggling way more responsibility on a daily basis, anything you can do to save time in the kitchen without compromising on the nourishment of your children is going to be highly valuable to you. Connecting with other mothers can help you learn tips and tricks that help you save time when cooking, or can give you avenues to combine your efforts for mutual benefit.
For example, another mother could prepare a large batch of food and deliver it to you in their spare time in return for you doing the same for them at a later date. If you coordinate, you will both be able to squeeze more out of your cooking schedules, and the more households you involve with this collective process the easier it will be for each mum who joins the cooperative effort.
3. Combining mealtimes
One of the most direct ways that connecting with other mums will help you when cooking for your kids is when your children play together and allow you time to cook a meal for two or more families at once. Having an extra pair of hands in the kitchen, or someone else to simply supervise the kids at play, will mean more efficient meal preparation, which ultimately means getting food in the hands of hungry kids much sooner and with less hassle.
While this isn’t practical every day of the week or even every single weekend, it’s an example of a way you can connect with another mother that saves both of you time and stress. Also, the other mothers you connect with could have partners or older children that can assist in the process as well.
4. Helping to get the kids involved
It’s no secret that getting the kids involved in cooking from an early age will impart them with a lifelong appreciation of food and teach them the necessary skills for when they eventually leave the nest. By inviting another mum and her kids over to share in a cooking experience, you make it more likely that your kids will cooperate as they will see other children getting involved and helping their mother. This is especially likely if those kids are already established playmates with your own.
Again, this is going to be mutually beneficial for you and the other mother – regardless of whether she’s a single mum as well. The more independent cooking skills your kids develop, the easier caring for them as a single parent will ultimately be in the future when they are older and can be trusted to prepare some of their meals.