The kids are with me every other week. Most weeks, we try to cook at least one meal together if our schedule allows. If we’re taping a show, the menu is preselected by the topic, BUT, other times, we get to decide what we’re going to make during our time together.
Sometimes these family time cooking recipes come from one of the kid’s cravings, sometimes they come from our list of ‘must-try’ recipes and sometimes they come from a recipe book or magazine. Here are three simple ways to get your kids involved in recipe and menu selection:
1. Ask them what they’re in the mood to eat/cook that week. On the weeks the kids will be with me, I try to do a menu plan for the week. I say ‘try’ because some weeks I am better at this than others. BUT, even on the weeks when we don’t have a formal menu plan, I ask the kids for ideas on what we should eat that week, and if there’s anything in particular they’d like to make. In addition to helping me come up with dinner ideas, it gets them excited for the meals we’ll be cooking and eating together.
2. Go through some recipe books or magazines. If you want to do something special or new, and you and the kids are strapped for ideas, we find that paging through our recipe books and cooking magazines always generates ideas. You can find some of our favorite Kids Cooking Books right here on the site. Some of our favorite magazines include: FamilyFun, ChopChop, Taste of Home, All You, and Fitness. Fitness might seem a bit odd, but they have lots of healthy, tasty recipes in there.
3. Keep a list of those ‘must-try’ recipes. Whenever I’m reading a blog, magazine or cookbook and a recipe strikes me, I make a note of it. I have a folder in outlook called ‘recipes to try’…I just email myself links to the recipes I find online. If they’re in a book or magazine that I own, I make a note and email it to myself with the magazine title, issue, page and recipe. Back before I was technologically inclined, I used to just clip out the recipes from a magazine, glue them to another sheet of paper, three-how punch it and stick it in a binder…I still have that ‘recipe book’. Sophia does the same thing and usually writes up an ingredients list to be sure we’ll have everything on hand–if she finds something she wants to make, we usually try it right away. Alex is less aggressive with the recipe searching than Soph, but he does call my attention to particular things he finds from time to time. Sophia’s finds are usually desserts, Alex’s are usually meat related–big surprise 😀
Next time you have no idea what to make for supper, get the kids involved…I’m sure they’ll have plenty opinions on what to make.
Happy Family Cooking Everyone,
Kelly, Alex and Sophia