Kids in the Kitchen: Meal Planning with Your Kids!
Over the last few weeks, we’ve talked a lot about New Year’s resolutions, healthy living, and nutritious eating. Resolutions typically start off strong, but begin to fade out after a few weeks. This year, we want to encourage the resolution to live healthy by sharing our tips on planning healthy meals as a family!
1. Make a plan
When you have a plan in place, it’s much easier to avoid last minute fast food, or a moment of weakness at the grocery store. Meal planning can also help you and your family save time and money. Start by asking your kids to make a list of their favorite meals and then sift through to find nutritious, easy alternatives. You can also create a Pinterest board, and have your children pick out the dinners that look the best to them! However you decide to select your meals, make sure that you create a grocery list to go with it.
2. Get creative
Once you have your plan in place, get the kids involved with posting the meal plan somewhere visible in the kitchen. If you plan to do this on a weekly basis, you may want to invest in a dry erase board, or a chalk board where the kids can draw or write out the meals each week. If your kids love to draw or paint, perhaps they would enjoy making a creative meal plan that can be hung on the fridge!
3. Be Prepared
Preparation day is best done before the busyness of the week begins, so choose a day to set aside an hour or two to get prepared. This is a great time to get your little ones involved with measuring, scooping, and stirring. Once you have your meals packaged and ready to go into the freezer or fridge, you’re all set for the week! A little preparation can certainly save a lot of time and energy during the week.
4. Make Your Own Cookbook
If your children are old enough to read and write, they may want to write out the recipes on index cards and add them to their very own cookbook. This will help them to learn to spell words they may not read often, as well as learn more about measurements. They can also snap photos of the meals they make and add photos to the pages. The best thing about the cookbook? You’ll be able to look through it for ideas when you meal plan!
5. Little Helpers are the Best Helpers
After the planning, preparing, and organizing, there won’t be much to do when you make dinner, but as always, get the kids involved as much as you can! If dinner gets rave reviews, make sure you give credit to your kids for all that they did. Tasks such as drying the dishes may seem daunting to parents, but kids love to help!
Kids can help in the kitchen in so many ways. Whether it’s kneading dough, drying a dish, or creating a meal plan, they simply love to get involved. How are you and your family sticking to your New Year’s resolutions? We would love to hear about it in the comments below! For more ideas on creating resolutions, see our post on Making Resolutions as a Family.