1. Dinner Options
Present two dinner options, and have your kids choose between them. To step it up a notch, give them a list of salads, sides and main courses, and ask them to decide the menu.
2. Shop together
Whenever possible, ask your kids to join you on a trip to the grocery store or farmer’s market. This gives kids the opportunity to explore different foods, and even talk with the people who made them!
3. Mystery foods
Try exploring mystery foods. I love this one! At the store, ask your child to pick a fruit or vegetable he or she has never seen before. Before you leave the store, be sure to find the name of it so you can look it up when you get home.
4. Help with the cooking
Invite your child to help cook, at whatever skill level is appropriate to her. Kids can stir a pot, crumble the cheese, set the timer, measure ingredients, pick leafy green vegetables off their stems (kale, basil), push the button on the blender, crack eggs, whisk, chop or saute!
5. Clean-up crew
Be part of the cooking clean-up crew. Maybe the actual cooking doesn’t interest them but they like to clean or organize to keep all on tract and tidy.
6. Creat fun videos
Create a family dinner reel or imovie. Kids and teens alike love creating movies so do one about your family dinner!
7. Play restaurant
Whether they cooked the meal or not, have your kids serve each course as if they were waiters at a fancy restaurant. You might want to lay down a nice table cloth and light some candles to create a fun atmosphere.
8. Dinner rituals
Create a weekly dinner ritual. For example, maybe every Sunday, your kids’ friends are invited to dinner or to dessert. Sundaes, anyone?
9. Watch cooking shows together
Cooking shows or competitions can do wonders for getting kids interested in making meals. Try watching an exciting cooking show with your children, and see if it inspires them to join you in the kitchen!
10. Music they love
Ask your teen to choose music for dinner. This will also give you something to talk about.