We have all read about the importance of families sitting down together to dinner (or any meal really) on a regular basis. It’s a great time to really ask your kids how they’re doing and have important and meaningful conversations as a family.
You can make this mealtime experience more beneficial by preparing the meal together as a family. This gives you extra time to spend together, and allows your children to gain important communication and collaboration skills. It also gives kids the chance to learn life skills like following directions, measuring and cleaning up.
Cooking as a family can also be a learning experience for everyone involved – even mom and dad. If there’s a technique or cooking skill you haven’t mastered, check YouTube for an instructional video and everyone can experiment together.
Need an idea for a meal to prepare? If you have a family recipe that has been passed down from generation to generation, teaching your children how to make it will be an experience you won’t forget. Also, finding healthy recipes to prepare can expose your children to foods they’ve never tasted before. This encourages kids to try new things that have nutritional value.
Remember to be patient and tolerate a bit more of mess when the kids are helping in the kitchen. It may create some stress or more work for you at the time, but the long term benefits outweigh it in the long run.
One last important reminder: As you sit down to enjoy the delicious meal you just prepared with your family, think about instituting a “no devices at the table” rule. Mealtime will be much more meaningful to everyone if you really focus on each other, strengthen relationships and create memories.