Five Ways To Get Your Kids Involved In Dinner Time

As a parent we have all probably heard that kids will be more apt to eat dinner if they are included in the process.  It is absolutely true. If kids are invested in what they have on their plates they will eat more. This is also easier said than done.  

For a time I was having my daughter take on dinner every Sunday night.  She did everything from picking the recipe, making the shopping list, buying the groceries and making the meal.  It was great. She was excited to do it but it was a lot of work for me as a parent and now that the weather is nicer she isn’t interested in making dinner because she is too busy racing her bike down the street and trying to give me a heart attack.

If you have the patience to give your kiddo control over dinner go for it!  It is absolutely awesome to see your child thrive in the kitchen and see the finished meal on the plate but if you or your child aren’t ready for that big of a commitment yet then start with small steps.  Here are 5 things you can do to get their feet wet with dinner prep.

  1. Let them pick out a recipe each week.  If your kid is anything like mine they want computer time.  My daughter loves looking up hairstyle ideas on Pinterest and she also likes researching recipes on Pinterest.  Once they find something take a look at it together. Make tweaks to it if you need to and talk about ways you can round out the recipe with healthy vegetables!

  2. Have them make your grocery list for you.  When you take inventory of what you need to fill your cupboards have your little one practice their writing skills and jot down your list for you.  If you have the patience to take them to the store let them also cross each thing off the list.

  3. Have them help you meal prep.  If you meal prep for a couple hours after shopping to get yourself set for the week have them help you.  If age appropriate let them chop and dice but if they aren’t they can help you put whatever you chop and dice into the appropriate containers.  

  4. Let them help you cook.  It takes some crazy supervision to keep your little one safe in the kitchen but this step has the biggest impact.  When they get included in this step they really can see how they work they put in the kitchen makes the masterpiece they get to put on the plate.  Not feeling it? Put them in charge of salad duty.

  5. This one I am adding because my Spring fever game is strong.  Let them plant a pizza or spaghetti garden. Go pick out a large pot, some soil and some plants.  Grab a tomato, oregano, and basil plants and put them in the same big pot. Make a batch of homemade sauce and they can truly see how veggies can play a vital part in their dinner.

These steps may seem small but letting them have some part in dinnertime every single week can make a huge difference in what your kid could be willing to try at dinner time.  Have fun implementing and good luck!

Shaunna Maxwell