I don’t know about you, but I’ve really been combatting the summer boredom with my kids this year. Completely unrelated, I also got into a menu funk a few months ago and was just in a rut when it came to planning/cooking meals. So, I came up with something that has killed two birds with one stone, and I thought I’d share it with you guys.
I’ve always been a fan of having kids involved in the kitchen. I have found that when a child is invested in the meal, they are much more willing to try everything they had a hand in making — even my “picky” child. The past few weeks, I’ve been trying something new, and that is for each of the girls to plan one meal that we’ll have that week. I also ask my husband to pick a meal, and I choose one. That gives us 5 meals. During the summer, we’ve been eating at the church building at a Wed. night fellowship called “Soul Cafe”, so with that, we have 6 out of 7 days of our week covered for meals. Sundays we usually eat out (either at a restaurant or at the in-laws) and have a meal with our life group, so the 5-meal plan works perfectly for us.
I have just a couple of rules:
1. The meal has to have both a protein and a vegetable in it somewhere.
2. It can not be the same meal they chose the previous week.
This has been working well. On the night that we have each child’s chosen meal, they help me prepare it. Now, we have had some interesting meals, like spaghetti with sausage links and green beans… but for the most part, we’ve eaten well and healthy. We’ve had grilled chicken & veggies, baked potatoes with chopped beef, thai food, deli sandwiches, breakfast for dinner, broccoli cheese soup… even steak. The best part is, sitting down to plan the weekly menu is no longer a daunting task, and we’re eating healthy meals that the kids enjoy. It’s a win-win for all!
What about you? Do you incorporate your kids into your kitchen?