Confidence in a home-cooked meal.





I wanted to share a story from our participation without coercion experiment.

When we broke down our weekly responsibilities the kids each agreed to cook one meal per week.

Two nights ago Sage was in charge of dinner. His menu was homemade meatballs and red sauce with sauteed zucchini. (Because I'm veggie-crazed I did add a salad to the mix. I hope that doesn't count as micro-managing.)

It was hands down the tastiest meal we had all week.

I don't have many photographs because this kids loves his privacy. In fact, he didn't want me to photograph the final meal, as beautiful as it was. But I will tell you this: when that dinner was set on the table and we gathered around it to eat he was beaming. He was proud, confident, and felt the satisfaction of hard work.

He planned. He shopped. He found recipes. And then he cooked. Sage put hours into this meal. And when all was said and done? The word awesome was used to describe the entire experience. (And not just by me.)

18 thoughts on “Confidence in a home-cooked meal.

  1. says:

    Okay, I’m curious about how the kids react to more mundane chores like cleaning the toilets/washing windows? The chores they are so willing to do thus far seem “fun”–mowing the lawn, weed whacking, cooking—what kid wouldn’t want to do that? I want to know how they feel about scrubbing the floors and toilets.

  2. Rachel Wolf says:

    If we want our kids to love… say tomatoes, we wouldnt likely start by feeding them spicy salsa or some gooey-fermented tomato dish. Wed start more simply and yes, palatably. My kids are not scrubbing toilets (yet) because I want to go gently into this journey. Starting with the chores that I think they will like least will only lead to resistance and derail our mission.

    That being said, my kids LOVE washing windows and floors and always have. Those are up there with polishing furniture, a chore they surely made up as I never taught them. My kids draw the line at poop and vomit (dog puke or poop, litterboxes, and toilets.) Sage also gags when he takes out the compost so it its extra gloppy I dont ask that of him either.

    Worth noting, this kid is also horrified by the thought of touching raw meat. But he chose to make meatballs. After suggesting that if he didn’t want to touch meat, perhaps he would make a vegetarian meal next week, I nudged him to follow through and dig in. Cant I use a whisk or something? Sorry pal. Bare hands.

    And he did it. Without another word.

    So that was a long answer but I think it speaks to what you are asking. Were going slow, but they are also pushing their own limits.

  3. Rachel Wolf says:

    Tameka, He picked the recipe from How to Cook Everything for the meatballs from the spaghetti and meatballs recipe. He subbed in almond flour for the bread crumbs and used my homemade tomato sauce that he seasoned. It was outstanding!

  4. Rachel Wolf says:

    Meghann, The recipe he chose was spaghetti and meatballs from How to Cook Everything. He subbed in almond flour for the bread crumbs and used my homemade tomato sauce (he seasoned it with oregano, basil, and fennel). Yum.

  5. Dhilma says:

    Hi Rachel, I think Sage did great! I also managed to convince my 3 year old to collect the dirty laundry into the basket and after helping him to dump it into the washing machine, I taught him how to press the right buttons so that the correct program would run. He was really thrilled by this and says he will do this every morning. It took some working on, to get him to actually do it, mind you. At one point I could hear my voice almost whining, but I stopped myself on time! Thanks to you, I made a small start with my son.

  6. KC says:

    That’s really great! At three years old my daughter loves to help me cook. Let week she help make an entire two course meal. She cracked eggs and beat them for a frittata, she put all the tomatoes and garlic in the pan, she got the basil, added salt to the pasta water and the pasta. Then while I breast feed the baby she stirred the tomatoes for me. It was a really beautiful thing to watch. I didn’t aske her to do any of it. She just said, “mama, I want to cook.”

  7. Rachel Wolf says:


    Hi Rachel Wolf,
    rebecca ( has replied to your comment:

    Wow! That was post-worthy itself! Just goes to show you have to read the comments on the good blogs. 🙂

    Status: Published


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