I have two little eaters in my house that have very different tastes when it comes to food. Whenever I make something, there’s a good chance that someone isn’t going to like it. It’s even hard when we’re going to a restaurant because they simply don’t like the same things.
I decided one day that rather than cooking and then having someone be unhappy, I’d try something different.
I wasn’t the least bit interested in cooking two meals (I’m not Burger King, you can’t always have it your way), so…I’d recruit some help.
Instead of just doing all the meal prep and cooking on your own, consider involving your children in the process. They can help with everything from chopping vegetables to actually cooking parts of the meals. This also reduces how much you have to do on your own. It has made dinner time at our house pretty awesome.
Have Kids Help With Meal Prep
To start with, have your kids help you prepare meals. Depending on their ages and abilities, this can be anything from chopping vegetables, mixing ingredients, or actually doing some of the cooking.
Teaching your kids at a young age to begin helping with dinner is a great lesson for them so that they can become more independent, but also lets them help you a little more around the house. You can sleep at night knowing they won’t exist on scrambled eggs or fast food when they’re out on their own.
Also, when your kids start helping with meals, they become more interested in healthy cooking and eating, and will even give you some of their own recommendations.
Let Your Kids Choose Their Healthy Food Choices
Another way to get more help from your kids when meal time arrives is by having them make some of their own healthy food choices. This gets them more involved and interested but can also take some of the meal planning work out of what you need to do yourself.
It has gotten a lot easier ever since I signed up for a grocery pick up service. Since I order everything online, it is easy for the kids to sit with me while I make our food order. The added bonus is that I can show them exactly how much our food costs and team them about budgeting.
When you are getting ready to work on meal planning, ask your kids what they would like in their lunches for the week. Choose the healthiest options from their choices and use that to guide your meal planning list in the right direction.
Make Cooking a Family Event
You can also turn cooking dinner into a complete family event. Gather everyone together each evening to put together your meal, with one kid chopping veggies, the younger kids mixing ingredients or setting the table, and the older kids or teenagers helping with the cooking.
This is another thing that gets you some help in the kitchen, while also teaching your kids a valuable tool they can use in their life.
Try New Things Together
When you have your kids help more with meals and meal planning, you can also get their input on trying new things. Perhaps your middle schooler has a friend who often has a certain type of meal each week and talks about it at school, and they want to try it out.
Go ahead and take these suggestions to heart and think about how you can turn them into new family meals to try out. You can also sit down as a family and discuss new recipes you want to try, looking through sites like Pinterest together to find delicious and fun meals.
Cooking has been an awesome way for us to get to spend some time together. We talk about our day and build that family connection. My only regret is that I didn’t start sooner!
Do you cook together as a family? What is your favorite recipe. I’m always looking for new suggestions. Please feel free to share them in the comments below.