Every parent knows that life with kids is always busy. Be it a birthday party or a dance class or a baseball game, there is an unending supply of activities that need to be attended. Parents also know that kids grow up fast… the time really does fly. That’s the reason why squeezing in extra time to spend together while cooking a family meal is time to cherish.
Incorporating family time into the cooking process without adding stress can be easier than you might think. There are three simple tips to follow when in the kitchen with kids:
1) Choose a day and a menu together
Pick out a day of the week that works best for everyone. Every family’s schedule varies and there are days that are better than others. Days with no after-school activities when the kids and the whole family are home a bit earlier are ideal. Really, whatever day will allow the most relaxing, non-rushed experience is the best to pick.
Choosing the menu should also be a group decision. If everyone in the family actually likes the menu, or at least parts of it, the whole experience will be much more enjoyable.
2) Go over the game plan before starting
Just like with any group event, when everyone on the team knows what the goal is, the whole process goes much more smoothly. Every time you’re going to make a recipe with kids, run through what you’re going to be doing first. Then, once you’ve all got the same picture in your heads, divide tasks and work your way through each step. By choosing tasks in advance, you also prevent arguments over who will do what while you’re in the middle of making the meal–and we all know that’s a good thing.
3) Plan for fun, not perfection
If you’re looking for everything to go perfectly smoothly…well it won’t. My kids and I spend a lot of time together in the kitchen and we still end up with extra salt in the marinade, or half an egg in the bowl, or a tipped-over bottle of lemon juice, or-I think you get the picture. The thing is, it’s these little imperfections that make family cooking time fun. Plus, the memories you make will be priceless.
Yes, life is busy and kids grow up fast. Family time is precious and cooking together is one way to get some of that time back.
Now go, get those kids and cook something together!