CHEF TIMOTHY It's that time again – the beginning of another school year. So many emotions are brewing for parents right now. Some are full of joy and relief, while others feel fear of the unknown as to what each day will bring.
It seems like yesterday that we were off to our own first day of school. We were so excited to be embarking on our first day of a new experience; yet we were also very nervous seeing so many strangers and wondering if they were feeling the same way. Then we hear a voice telling us that everything will be fine, because all those strangers were no different than us. They were all going to the same place, and even though they were nervous too, they were also excited and ready to begin their journey of surprises that awaited them.
Go back in time for a moment and reflect on how you felt your first day of school. Remember how you smiled into the mirror at your reflection of what you were wearing, who you met that day and how you got to school. Some children walked a "country mile," some rode an old school bus, and others were dropped off by their parents. They all had the same feeling though, and that was they did not want to leave the comfort of their parents.
The time with your children flies by so fast. It's like you look at them one day and they are small tots, and the next day they are all grown up. We should enjoy every moment we can with our children. We should love them and tell them how special they are every day.
We, as parents, sometimes get so caught up in our lives that we fail to look at our children's needs and what they need from us. We put so many unimportant things first and forget what is truly important. All we need to do is think back to when we were that age and remember that an apple doesn't fall far from a tree, just a new branch.
Our children have feelings and emotions that are rapidly developing at a young age. It is so important that we express our emotions to them daily and discuss with them how it's OK to express their feelings also. If we neglect to do this, they are sure to have some problems – either in their early years or later as adults.
The school bell rings and we are happy as our children will begin or return to school. But let us not forget as we are molding our future generation of leaders that it is not all about the ABCs, but also learning social skills, nutrition and physical activity.
Times have changed and our children don't come home to the smell of those fresh baked yeast rolls and those homemade chocolate chip cookies any longer. Instead, those nutritious meals that our mothers used to cook for us have now – at least too often – been replaced with processed junk food that is affecting our children's young minds.
It's time to stop and take control of our health. Let's start preparing healthy meals and stop being junk food addicts. Take control of our health before it takes control of us with some unwanted disease.
Let us pledge to be healthy and help our families to be healthy by preparing at least four meals a week at home and ditch the junk food and fast food. The key to the success of this is to get your children involved. Let them learn and discover the joy of cooking and being creative in the kitchen.
The future of our next generation of healthy living begins today with the young bright minds of our children. So let them cook and learn to see life as never before.