For many working mothers, managing the household can often become a cooperative event. This is particularly true when there are older children in the home, who may be more capable of caring for themselves for short periods of time, or who are able to attend to the needs of younger children while the mother is still away from the home.
Perhaps the most concerning time for teaching responsibility can be when children are left to tend to nutritional needs without adult supervision. While factors that can influence this will depend upon the age of the children, some of the common worries include:
- • Are children eating on their own, or are they waiting to have food prepared?
- • Are easy to grab snacks available, and are they nutritionally sound?
- • What should happen if there is an emergency, and children are left on their own for longer than expected?
- • Are mothers confident that children are capable of safely preparing a good meal?
These questions can frequently lead to solutions of convenience, although these food choices may not be the best for health and wellness. It can be common to see mothers opt for easy snacks that take no preparation, although, unless children are already aligned with snacking on fresh fruits and vegetables, any other snack options may simply be high enough in calories to satisfy the appetite, although they have little other nutritional value.
Solutions That Teach Preparedness Skills
One solution that many busy mothers find to be both effective for better eating habits and for teaching skills such as responsibility and emergency preparedness does involve the use of food kits and long-term food storage. These staples in the pantry can greatly reduce the worry that a mother may have while her kids are home alone, but can also ensure that ample food is available should an emergency arise.
Long-term food storage can include healthy snacks that have a greater shelf life, such as:
- • Nuts
- • Dried fruits
- • Vegetables for snacking or cooking
- • Full meal kits
The variety of choices also allows mother to determine the level of involvement and responsibility that can be taught. Ready-made food kits can include full and kid friendly meals such as mac and cheese or even pancakes, but they can be prepared with just the addition of boiling water. With high quality food kits, moms can check the nutritional labels to know that it is good for children, and can also have the assurance that a greater sense of pride in preparing a full meal can also help to instill responsibility.
Mother’s who have teens in the home will also have the peace of mind that food preparation in times of emergency can be a viable choice. This may include showing teens how to safely handle sterno, propane heaters, and other alternative power sources for heating water. With a small amount of initial supervision, younger and older children can all experience the sense of accomplishment of eating high quality and tasty foods at a moment’s notice, and under any conditions.