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Service: Simple Ways to Use Cooking Skills to Help Others

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Service—This week's Season of Service challenge is to use your cooking skills, however "mad" they may or may not be, to serve your family and others. There are many ways you can reach out to others through the medium of food, something we all love.

10 Bite-Size Cooking Service Ideas

  1. Cook a dinner for a neighbor that has just gained or lost a family member. It's perhaps a bit cliché but very effective in taking a piece of their load off their shoulders, as anyone who has ever had a meal brought in to them can attest.
  2. Make some cookies and take them to a neighbor you haven't met yet. It's amazing how much easier it is to do that with the medium of food, and there are always new people to meet.
  3. Volunteer to teach a one-time cooking class at a women's shelter or center for disabled people
  4. Cook a vegetarian meal for your family. It can be easily done without sacrificing taste or nutrition. My favorite vegetarian cookbook is The Starving Students' Vegetarian Cookbook.
  5. Replace one meal eaten out with one cooked at home. and are two of my favorite online places to go for easy, fun recipes, but there are many, many sites offering great ideas.
  6. Bake cookies for deployed service members. Go to or for more information.
  7. Pick up a packet of herb seeds the next time you're at the grocery or home improvement store, and just plant it in a patch of dirt by your front or back porch. Splash a little water from your water bottle on it each day as you come or go, and watch it grow. When it starts sprouting leaves, use some in a meal. You won't believe how much it improves the taste of your meal, or how good you'll feel having grown it.
  8. Find out about your food. Next time you make dinner, write down the ingredients you use, then afterwards sit down with your kids and google where they came from. You'd be surprised what you can learn about Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.
  9. Have your kids help you prepare a "dip night dinner," consisting of nothing but items that can be dipped, with their dips (e.g., October Dinner Fondue, crackers and cheese balls, etc.)
  10. Do a summer reading/cooking activity with your kids, correlating a book like Little Red Hen with making something like bread. See this .pdf for more info.

How Will You Give to Others This Week?

  • What other ideas do you have for giving to others through cooking?
  • How has cooking for or with others made a meaningful difference for you this week?
  • How have others given to you this week and what difference has that made in your life?

How Else Can You Make a Difference This Season?

Make a meaningful difference this season by taking the Season of Service (SOS) Challenge. Here's how you can participate:

  • Commit to do one act of kindness/service based on the week's challenge.
  • Leave a comment with ideas relating to the week's challenge as well as your experience(s) performing it.
  • Enter to win each week's giveaway. Check out this week's prizes from Bush's Beans by clicking here.
  • Join #gno this Tuesday on Twitter to connect with other Mom It Forward moms about the challenge.
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