Studies done at The Annenberg Center for the Digital Future at the University of Southern California report that 28% of Americans have been spending much less time with members of their households, a statistic that has tripled since 2006. If you feel like you’re spending less time with your kids, husband, or wife, you can easily put in some family time in the kitchen and at dinner. Creating family meal ideas and cooking with your family gives you the opportunity to spend more time together and teach your kids how to cook. At first, you may think that the kitchen is no place for a child. Sharp knives, high temperatures, flying oil, and slick floors make the kitchen, at times, a danger zone. However, we’ve thought up some recipes and tasks that your kids can do risk-free.
- Elbows and ground beef: For this pasta-based meal idea, you can chop the onion and green bell pepper ahead of time, that way the kids aren’t around sharp objects. If you’re the one cooking, your spouse can be in charge of chopping up the items. After browning ground beef and heating up tomato sauce, have your kids stir the mixture in a Dutch oven, then stir noodles into it. Make sure your child is old enough to be wary of the warm stovetop.
- Baked mashed potatoes: Your kids will have a blast smashing and mashing up some cooked potatoes. Your spouse can peel the potatoes (unless you prefer leaving the skin on) and you can boil the potatoes. Kids can pour milk over potatoes, add butter, and mash away!
- Pizza: Pizza is the quintessential kid friendly recipe. Any child loves rolling out mushy dough and selecting toppings. Just dice tomatoes and other ingredients ahead of time and watch the kids have a blast.
- Chocolate Peanut butter Rice Treats: Whole grain puffed corn and rice cereal can be the perfect base for a healthy mealtime snack to tide the kids over after soccer practice or school. Simply mix peanut butter, granulated sugar, dark chocolate chips, and a touch of vegetable oil. Have your kids measure out the cereal, line two baking sheets with wax paper, and stir everything together after chocolate has been melted (by dad or mom). Your kids will love rolling the cereal into balls and placing them on the baking sheets. Then, just throw the treats into the freezer for 20 minutes and enjoy as a family.
We may not have a whole lot of free time, especially during the week. However, you can easily spend more time with your kids and spouse while cooking up a storm! Next time you’re having dinner, try to plan a family-friendly recipe that you can all make together.