Summertime is fast approaching and school is almost out for the year. You know it won’t be long until you hear those dreaded words, “I’m bored”. That is why summer is a perfect time to have your kids stir up some fun in the kitchen and learn some great lessons about food, meal planning, and valuable cooking skills.
Here are a few tips that will help make family meal time a fun and rewarding activity this summer. A lot will depend on your family dynamic and the age of your children, but here are some ways you can make this a fun summer in the kitchen.
Find a day that works for your family and assign your child to be in charge of dinner. Kids are great at using the computer and they will enjoy searching for recipes. If you are looking for kid friendly recipes, visit the KitchenAid Facebook Recipe Tab.
Click on Occasions at the top and scroll down to the Kid Friendly section. You will find a wide variety of recipes that your kids are sure to love. The meal selection doesn’t have to be complicated and can include favorites such as pizza with varied toppings, taco night, waffles, pasta salad or their favorite food.
Once you’ve got your meal idea in hand it is a great opportunity to get the kids involved in shopping for ingredients. A trip to the local farmer’s market or your favorite grocery store can be a great teaching experience about food quality and budgeting. They will love making choices and actually handling the fresh ingredients for themselves.
When it is their meal day, you can suggest they enlist other family members to help in the preparation so the entire family is together in the kitchen. Another great idea is to have a menu chalkboard where they can feature the special of the day or they can develop a fun meal calendar that sits prominently in the kitchen.
Actual meal preparation will probably require help and supervision, but make sure the kids are getting their hands dirty and that it’s “their’ meal. Have the kids select the way they want to present the meal and let them be creative in their choices. This is a great time to introduce special family secrets around food preparation or just great stories that can bring the family together.
Once the meal is over, clean up doesn’t have to be a negative experience. The child in charge can enlist help from other family members, knowing that they will be asked to help when their siblings are in charge. This is another great time to teach teamwork and instill pride in finishing a task.
As you move through the summer and each child has had multiple chances to plan and prepare meals, create a family cookbook with the family’s favorite summer recipes. The kids can create photos to go with the recipes and can refer back to the book again and again.
With just a little planning, you can turn this summer into a fun family adventure in the kitchen. Your kids will learn to love and appreciate meal time, and most importantly, have a lot of fun in the process.
Special thanks to Heidi Larsen of Foodie Crush for contributing many of the photos above
*The Contributor of this post has been compensated by KitchenAid for this post, but this post represents the Contributor’s own opinion.*