Zia Hassan

To Nourish You

I think a lot about being a father. I mean, what it means to be a father, how one should conduct themselves as a father, how one should teach their children or at least provide the conditions necessary for their children to learn.

A few years ago, when my wife and I started talking about the possibility of having kids one day, I found myself more motivated than ever before to go to the gym and work out more. With every rep, and every mile I ran, I would say to my future child in my head, this is for you. Sure, I wanted to improve my health in general, but I was mostly motivated by future fatherhood.

And now that I’m here, I’ve got the physical fitness somewhat under control, working out 3x a week and handling my (heavy) child a lot.

But in terms of nutrition, I’ve been making meal delivery kits fo the past few years. These can be quite nutritious, depending on what you believe about nutrition. But recently, I found myself wanting to learn how to cook, from scratch without a recipe and with unprocessed, mostly plant based ingredients, for the same reason I wanted to work out.

But it’s not just wanting to provide nutritious meals for my child – it’s the act of making and sharing food with someone. If you think about the people you’ve shared meals with, who have graciously cooked for you, whose food you still crave years after they’re gone… there’s a nourishment that happens when someone cooks for you, a nourishment of both the body and the soul.

The greatest gift a mother gives their child is their own milk, the stuff they created in their own bodies. Babies crave and obsess over it.

Since I can’t create milk to give my son, the best I can do is learn how to cook in a nutritious way for him. Foods that taste good and that do good things for his growing body. We could sit down, share food together, experience conversation while eating. We could enjoy the process of life through the meals we create and consume. And to that end, I’ll cook for him every day.

And perhaps one day, he’ll cook for me.