Finding ways to get your kids involved with making dinner will help make dinner time a family affair. Sometimes life gets really busy, and it seems like there is no time to sit down and eat. Yet, eating dinner together as a family is important, and it becomes much easier when you find ways to get your kids involved with making dinner.
1. Let Them Make the Menu
One of the ways to get your kids involved with making dinner is to let them make the menu. This is a great way for younger children to feel like they are a part of making the meal. They will be so excited to choose what the family eats for dinner. Of course, you may need to gently guide them away from cookies and cakes.
2. Play Restaurant
With young children it can be fun to let them pretend like the kitchen is a restaurant. They can name the restaurant and have just about any role they want. Depending on their age they can be a waiter and take orders, or they can be the executive chef. It may be tempting to get them to play busboy or girl, but try saving that for a later day. Otherwise, dinner becomes a chore.
3. Food Preparation
There are so many different things that need to be prepared when you are cooking dinner that there is something for everyone to do. Younger children can wash vegetables or grate cheese. They can also peel potatoes. Another great job for older kids is making the salad. They can cut up the vegetables and make the salad dressing.
Kids love using the mixer. It is so much fun for them. Let them mix anything that needs mixing. Mashed potatoes are always a great option, but if you are making something with eggs, they will be more than happy to beat the eggs. Just be sure to put the bowl of whatever they are mixing in the sink. This will prevent you from having a mess on your hands.
5. Put Them in Charge of One Dish
As children become older, you can put them in charge of one dish. They might like to make a side dish, or maybe they would like to make the main dish. They may need a little help at first, but it gives them the opportunity to learn how to cook. Not only will giving them more responsibility in the kitchen help their confidence and make them interested in dinner, but it will also teach them how to cook, which is an invaluable skill to have.
6. Dessert Duty
Because children like dessert so much, they would be very pleased to be put in charge of making dessert. For healthy options, you can have them make a fruit salad or a fruit smoothie. However, if you are feeling like having an evening with an extra sweet treat, they can make ice cream sundaes, or they can make a cake from a boxed mix.
7. Let Them Plate the Food
If your child isn’t very interested in cooking, they may be interested in plating the food. Some kids are very artistic and would love to have the opportunity to plate the food in an artistic way. You may end up with a very elegant plate of food, or it might look a little odd. Either way, your child will have fun, and the food will get to the table.
Getting kids involved with making dinner is surprisingly easy, and it allows you to spend time together as a family. Also, preparing dinner won’t seem like such a chore when everyone is in the kitchen helping, and as a bonus you get to eat a homemade meal together. How do you get your kids involved in the kitchen?