Using FOOD to Connect Kids to Ancestors
How many kids love food? (Answer = all of them)
How many kids love genealogy? (Answer = most don’t even know what that word is unless their mom is a crazy genealogist)
But what if you could use food, which they all love, to inspire an appreciate for genealogy? Odds are, you’re already serving family recipes to the children in your life. I make my mom’s Mexican Casserole and her Grandma’s Marshmallow Fluff at least once a month! We make Grandma Losee’s Homemade Banana Ice Cream in her memory on the 4th of July. And Thanksgiving is not the same without Great-Grandma Hansen’s Cinnamon Candy Apples. We would never let Christmas pass without making her Orange Cookies, either. Favorite dinner of all time in our family: the Bischoff Chicken & Noodles.
Now here’s the opportunity. Every time you make one of the family favorites, instead of just savoring the flavors and briefly mentioning to the kids which ancestor the recipe originated from, pull out their photo! Help the kids make a visual connection to an ancestor WHILE they’re eating delicious food.
Challenge the kids to search the family tree to discover the person who contributed this recipe to your family. Tell them stories about the person as you eat together. They will have no choice but to automatically appreciate the ancestor who was responsible for bringing this delicious food into their lives. In this way, the FOOD part of our family history will easily pass down to another generation and be preserved. Are you hungry?
(Click on this photo of Grandma Hansen and her “Cocoa & Toast” to read more about these ideas in our blog post featuring FamilySearch’s brilliant “Recipe Stories” campaign. I love the “Memories” feature on FamilySearch for preserving family history for future generations.)