Mealtime can be a stressful event for many families, especially if the responsibility rests on just one person. When time is short, creative ideas fall by the wayside and meals often end up being the same dishes every week. However, if the whole family is involved and new ideas are encouraged, mealtime can become much more enjoyable and entertaining.
Rotational Meal Planning
Aboutkidshealth believes that involving the family in meal planning is a great way to encourage everyone to become excited about trying new foods, even the finicky family members. Each person can be responsible for choosing and planning one meal for the day, with the younger members receiving help from the older members. This schedule can be daily, weekly or monthly; whatever works best for the family. Another rotational method can be designed around the current national days of the calendars, such as “National Donut Day”, “Poinsettia Day”, “National Polar Bear Day”, “National Homemade Soup Day”, and other national days. Each member of the family can randomly pick one national day for their allotted week and design a meal that incorporates the special day’s theme.
Meals that Others Eat
Many people tend to want to eat the same type of food, which is usually food that is comparable to what they grew up eating. An international day is a good way to introduce food from different countries to the family. Another amusing idea is to plan meals that feature what popular fictional characters like to eat, like Garfield the cat and pizza, the Cookie Monster and cookies, Winnie the Pooh and honey, Naruto’s Sasuke and tomatoes and other similar characters and their favorite foods.
Collect Favorite Recipes
Another fun way to make meal time more interesting is to gather recipes from other people, such as relatives. Grandma is a great source and other family members outside of the immediate family can all be solicited. If there aren’t many recipes to collect from the family, Pinterest can be a good source to find meals based on other people’s favorite family meal times.
One day a week should be devoted to using the leftovers from that week. The only rule is that nothing new can be cooked and that every ingredient for the meal has to be something that has previously been prepared, is produce that is currently in the fridge or is some type of spice or condiment already present. These ingredients can be served in their original states or incorporated into something new. This idea is similar in concept to the TV show “Chopped”, where the chefs have to make a food with only the ingredients provided for them. Desserts can be enlivened with non-sugary sweeteners like the syrups from Monin.
Mealtime can be an exciting time again with just a little planning, family involvement and some creative thinking. The variety of all the different meals will make every meal seem new. Once the entire family is involved, everyone will feel a part of the mealtime process and all will have fun.