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If you are looking for ways to involve your children in mealtime, you are in the right place! Do you want to keep your children out of mischief or hope to teach them more about cooking? Involving your children more in dinner preparation can turn a routine chore into an enjoyable memory.
How to Involve your Children in Mealtime
Dinner preparation can be hectic, but with a few simple tips, you can involve your children to make it an easier task. Check out how you can have a wonderful experience including your children in making a meal.
Take your children to the grocery store
When you buy groceries, bring your children. Grocery shopping together can become a wonderful learning experience for children. When you shop with a preschooler, you can teach what different items are by talking about what you see. Children may be more willing to try food if you expose them to new food more often.
Talking with children about the food you see at the grocery store also improves their vocabulary because the more words children hear, the more they understand the meaning of new words.
With older children, you can teach them how to select the best item based on the price, ingredients, and other factors. You can compare sale prices to items priced higher, and you can discuss why a larger item would cost more.
When I took my daughter to Walmart to shop for our traditional Sunday meatball recipe, we checked out the different types of soaps in the Bar Soap aisle. She enjoyed learning more about how coupons work.
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Ask your children to help you meal plan
Discuss the different ingredients you have in your home with your child, and talk about the different meals you could make. Talking about ingredients not only improves your child’s vocabulary, but it is also an opportunity to teach about math and measurement.
Have your children prepare the meal with you. Although food preparation with children can get messy or lead to an imperfect dish, the experience is valuable. Children who cook more often with their parents can have more confidence in cooking later in life, which can lead to more independence.
In my home, my children love making meatballs with me. They help crack the eggs, shred the parsley and the fresh parmesan and add seasoning.
Our favorite part is rolling the meatballs together. The first time we made this dish, some of the meatballs came out too big or too small. Each time we make it, it comes out better and more delicious. Seeing our favorite dish become more tasty teaches my children that practicing a task leads to a better result.
Teach Children to Set the Table
Teaching children to set the table shows them to have pride in their final dish and to be of service to the family. Make setting the table a special task with unique napkin holders or a flower arrangement to place on the table.
Before setting the table, double check that your children wash their hands thoroughly. Meatballs are a messy dish to prepare and the raw meat is not safe to leave on your child’s hands. Make sure your children understand that washing their hands matters, and that they cannot go on to another task until they have done this.
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Dinner preparation with children can get messy, but it’s a fun and educational way to make memories. From the grocery shopping to the final plating, children can be involved and help their parents out with mealtime.