Every single day across America, firefighters gather around the kitchen table. Having just left their loved ones at home, they now sit down at this familiar piece of furniture with their second family.
When I was introduced to the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation and the Together Counts™ program, I didn’t immediately make the connection from their mission to our firehouse. Yes, we here at Fork and Hose Co. like to feature many healthy meals, but what does a firehouse chef have to do with leading a healthy, balanced life? And then it hit me, family. As firefighters, we spend almost as much, if not more, time at the firehouse than at home. Instead of 8-hour workdays, most firefighters are working 24-hour shifts, or “tours” as we call it in my department, with the same crew every shift. This 24-hour tour almost always starts off in the kitchen with a cup of coffee in hand. Around the table there are conversations on everything from the previous tour, sports predictions, auto mechanics and sometimes foreign policy. This is also a time when some of the “vets” like to tell their war stories. Although sometimes exaggerated, they are great to learn from. A 24-hour shift can be taxing and stressful just like any other job and many firefighters work a second job which further adds to our busy schedules. Just like in the firehouse, we have responsibilities at home that can take up much of our time. Today’s society is fast-paced, filled with deadlines and the belief that everything needed to be done yesterday. With all the commotion, it is so important to be able to sit down and slow down.
Just like the time we spend at the firehouse table, the time we spend with family at the kitchen table is precious and we should use it wisely. Breakfast is a great opportunity to catch up on the previous day or talk about that day’s schedule or going-ons. Even if it is for only twenty minutes, that is twenty minutes we have to find out how the kids’ day went at school or what new projects our spouse might be working on. Breakfast does not have to be an elaborate meal, a quick bowl of oatmeal or yogurt parfait takes little time and can even be prepared ahead of time, leaving you more time to catch up with the family. At the firehouse it is common to have the “brothers” and “sisters” in the kitchen prepping and helping out the chef, so if possible have your kids help out in the kitchen, in a safe manner of course. This is a great time to bond and communicate while teaching them safety in the kitchen and how to cook a healthy, well balanced meal! Stay tuned for kid-friendly recipes from Fork and Hose Co.! We are proud to partner with the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation and utilize the Together Counts™ program’s energy balance resources.
Fork and Hose Co. was founded by firefighter A.J. Fusco in 2011 to share his own recipes with other firefighters and friends. Recently, F&H Co. has grown worldwide featuring meals and recipes from firehouses as far as Australia. We realized there was an ongoing problem in the fire service in regards to health and cardiac related incidents and made it a point to focus on healthy meals as much as possible. You can find us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @forkandhoseco, by email @ email@example.com and our website www.forkandhoseco.com where we feature our recipes, tips, photos and more.
If you want some more inspiration for spending more time together as a family, check out these other articles from Together Counts!