Cooking dinner is something I actually enjoy doing. I love to cook, and to try new recipes, and to make a good meal to come together. That said, getting the meal on the table for a family of five every night is a lot of work, and it takes time. I also want to make sure that by the time my kids leave home, they can cook more than canned soup and instant noodles.
I started getting my kids to help with small tasks when they were younger, and now that they are getting older, they help even more with getting meals on the table.
1. Get them to grab ingredients for you. If your kids are too young to wield a knife, they can still go into the fridge for you and bring you what you need to chop.
2. Set the table. Setting the table is now my kids’ responsibility for every meal. The three of them work together, calling out who is grabbing plates, who is getting cutlery, who is filling the water glasses, etc.
3. Have them take ownership. When it comes to condiments and sides, when the kids ask what needs to go on the table, I ask them to think about what we need. We talk about the meal, and what they like to dip their food in, spread on a bun, etc.
4. Get them to help prepare the food. My eldest son likes to grate cheese, and my younger two like to help me season the food, as well as stirring any dishes that are simmering on the stove.
5. Teach them what you are doing. As my kids have gotten older, I’ve been explaining what I do when I prepare a meal. They’re not quite ready to use large knives, but I have them watch me chop an onion, prepare a salad, etc. They also help me toss in chopped vegetables and will get buns, etc. on the table.
How do you get your kids involved with preparing meals?