Three meals a day, every day – even if you love cooking, there are times when it seems like all you do is cook, clean and repeat, all day. You are bored of the same old thing so you try to surprise everyone with something new and the kids hate it, even if it’s made up of things they like. Here are a few things to try to get everyone involved and make cooking fun.
Make Cooking Fun for the Whole Family
Everyone helps – Some meals are made for getting everyone into the kitchen. A homemade personal pizza night, for instance, lets everyone pick what they want so everyone is happy. Everyone helps, even the kids, which lets them learn to cook their own meals and might also help them appreciate what goes into keeping the family fed day in and day out. Prep the crusts ahead of time and let everyone pick out what they want. Great for weekends when you have a little more time or a dinner before a family game night.
Lighten up – Do something totally off the wall. Have dessert first or breakfast for dinner or tell everyone the peas are dragon boogers. It’s only a chore if you make it one. Make it fun and everyone will have fun.
Freezer Meals – Dedicate a day to spend a few hours prepping up a ton of easy to freeze meals. Having the kids help reinforces cooking skills and lets them learn meal planning. Give everyone age appropriate tasks. If you’re making lasagna, have the little ones mix cheese sauce and the older ones can brown the meat. Everyone helps with layering and saucing. If you don’t want to dedicate a day, just plan for leftovers and make twice as much of what you were making anyway and freeze the extra for a later day.
Chef’s Day Off – If the kids are old enough, have them take responsibility for a meal a week. They pick it, make up an ingredients list and cook it up with your oversight. Keep an open mind, not everything will be delicious, but this can be a great learning experience.
Everyone Pick a Meal – When you are planning your menu, have everyone pick one meal a week. If you find you have someone always picking the same thing, give them a few choices and don’t include that one. This fits in perfectly with everyone helps or chef’s day off.
These are just a few ways to take some of the load off of you and help teach the kids life skills like planning ahead, improvising and learning from mistakes. Update what you do as the kids skills change and improve. Keep an open mind and be supportive and cooking can grow to be a passion for everyone instead of a chore.
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