With work, school and activity schedules, cooking and eating together as a family can be a challenge. To get the whole family into the kitchen on a Monday night, make it a Kids Cook Monday! When you make time for healthy, home cooked meals, it sets a good example and provides valuable cooking and kitchen habits that children will carry with them for life. Plus, getting a Monday start to your family cooking routine can help you stick with it long-term.
Get started this week with 6 tips for making Monday night meals work in your household:
Have a plan ahead of time
Planning ahead is critical to success, so save time and stress by picking out your Kids Cook Monday recipe and stocking up on ingredients beforehand. Estimate how much time your recipe will require by factoring in the complexity of the dish, how many children you are working with, their ages, and what tasks they will be allowed to do. Then, use this estimate to set aside time in your Monday schedule.
Pick a fun, easy recipe
Make Kids Cook Monday successful by selecting a recipe that is fun for children to make and easy for you to work with. Simple recipes are best because children are more likely to understand the entire process from start to finish. Plus, you won’t feel overwhelmed if your Kids Cook Monday dish is a hit that they want to make again and again!
Start your search by looking through our collection of delicious recipes that include age-appropriate instructions.
Involve kids in the whole process
Kids are much more likely to try new foods if they understand more about them, so get your kids invested right away! Let them help you pick a Kids Cook Monday recipe by asking them to suggest a favorite ingredient, or let them decide between two or three pre-selected dishes. Then, bring your child to the grocery store or farmers market with you so they can see all the fresh ingredients. You can even get a helping hand at home by having kids put away groceries with you!
Clean as you go
Avoid a lot of dirty dishes – and the work that comes with them – by washing along the way. This is where having a little sous chef comes in handy! Scrub pans while they stir, or put away leftover ingredients as they start chopping. Show your kids the entire cooking process by having them help with the remaining dishes after the meal is complete.
Get the family excited
Make Kids Cook Monday something the family looks forward to all week! Give everyone a role in the meal preparation and presentation. When your family gathers around the table, unplug from TV and cell phones and spend time in each others’ company. Use regular Kids Cook Monday dinners as an opportunity to check in with your kids, engage them in conversation, and see what their plans are for the week ahead.
Make it a consistent weekly habit
Add Kids Cook Monday to your family’s routine by simply cooking and eating together week after week! In time, everyone will know that Monday night means family dinner. You too will come to expect Kids Cook Monday meals at the start of the week and plan for them like you would any other habit.