Kids Cooking Nights!
Here are some fun ways you can include your children in the kitchen …
-When your children are young they can do simple tasks like washing vegetables at dinner time and helping you set the table.
-At the grocery store give them a small list to look for along the way. Teach them about pricing and brands. As they get older teach them about reading labels and how to look for possible allergens i.e. wheat, gluten, dairy.
-It might be an option for your teenager to have one night a week when they cook for the family. Your teen gets to pick the recipe, on Sunday (or whatever day you get groceries). They then text you the recipe and all the ingredients they will need and how much of each ingredient. They need to check in the fridge and cupboards to make sure you don't already have the ingredients. It is important for the parent to quickly review the recipe to make sure it will work for everyone's diets and it isn't going to be too difficult. This is a fun opportunity for your child to be a contributing member of the family. It also prepares them for making meals when they babysit and skills for when they move out one day. Make sure there is an adult supervising.
-You can do theme weeks, like a green week for St. Patrick's Day, maybe eat lots of green vegetable dishes that week! Another week could be Mexican dishes or Italian. You might want to try different salads or soups.
Tips: Make sure to record on the calendar everyone's cooking night and stay consistent. It is also helpful if everyone writes their recipe beside their name on the calendar, at the beginning of each week.
As your child gets older and more experienced give them space but be close by if they need help. Let them be creative with the food presentation. The person who cooks also sets the table. My daughter would do place cards and little notes with fortunes on them. In our home, everyone who didn't cook clears off the table and does the dishes.
Make it fun!