Truth: we all need to eat every day!
Add a family and kids to the mix and cooking for the family can be a chore. I fall into the funk of not wanting to make a healthy meal or avoid going to the grocery store so there is nothing easy to eat. It doesn't have to be a chore and we don't have to get stuck in an impossible routine. I'm sharing my favorite tips to make family cooking fun!
5 Tips to Make Family Cooking Fun
1 – Let everyone choose a meal.
Everyone knows what they like and we all have favorite meals. Let meal planning be a family activity so all the decisions aren't left up to you.
Kids having a hard time making a decision? You can provide them with a list of 3-5 menu items to choose from and they can create the meal for the night, check out Pinterest for inspiration or head to the library to check out some cookbooks! One of our favorites is Kids Cook! Bag Lunches, After-School Snacks and Weekend Treats
2 – Make ahead meals.
I can not tell you enough about once a month cooking! Make-ahead meals are a sanity saver; it just takes a little time to get organized. Basically you make them, freeze them and then warm them up for an easy meal! I like to use our slow cooker to save time and dishes.
To get the family involved with prep give everyone a station during the prep stages. Think of it as layers in a lasagna and the number of stations depends on the number of people in the family and all have different levels of difficulty with everything from browning the meat to layering the cheese.
3 – Make it themselves.
This is my favorite way of getting the kids involved. Cheyenne has even been cooking one meal a week since she was 7! She loves prepping the food and creating her masterpiece to serve to us. Not only does this teach responsibility but also how to create a balanced menu and have the skillset for later in life.
I find that since she's starting making a meal she is more likely to try new things. She goes online or flips through cookbooks to find something new she wants to create. Sometimes we have to make a few tweaks to the recipe but now that she's 9 she is more than capable of doing the whole meal from start to finish!
4. Get everyone involved.
We have the most fun at meals when we do them buffet style where everyone can create their own. Our family favorite is pizza night!
A few recipes so you can make the crust and sauce from scratch:
Sometimes we make individual crusts, sometimes one big family pizza but we always lay out the ingredients so everyone can make their perfect slice! Making this on a weekend is our favorite and pairing it with family movie night is a lot of fun.
5 – Make breakfast for dinner.
Who doesn't love pancakes, whipping cream and strawberries for dinner? Maybe even some bacon and sausages. I usually have some make ahead waffles ready and waiting so we can have a fun breakfast for dinner night any day of the week!
I find being organized is the key to success when it comes to creating a meal plan. I use my what's cooking printable so I can have my meal plan and grocery list all on one paper. Just remember to have fun and get everyone involved, less stress for you means more fun for the whole family!
What's your tip to make family cooking fun?
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