Fellow moms, I know that planning and execution of the daily meal can get to be a drag. Allow me to share with you a little trick I instituted to give me a break (sort of) when my little darlings were 8, 5 and 4.
Kids Cook Night
For a couple of years, every Friday night was Kids Cook Night. I got the litle ones involved in the planning and in figuring out what ingredients we needed to add to the weekly grocery list. They were responsible for making sure whatever we ate included a meat, a vegetable, a fruit, and a grain. They came along to the store with me every week, anyway, and their interest (and cooperation) increased when they had a stake in what we were buying.
Our Friday night menus gravitated heavily toward pigs in a blanket and baked chicken legs. There was the occasional mac and cheese or home made pizza night thrown in. Limited, but at least it was their own creation.
It wasn’t always a walk in the park. I made a point to hover nearby but to keep my nose out of their work. There were Friday night “kids cook” sessions that included shouting, pushing, and pouting. The kitchen was generally a disaster zone afterwards. Though part of the exercise included dishes and clean-up, I generally ended up doing damage control after they went to bed.
Yeah, I know. The idea of Mom Hacks is to make mom life a little bit easier. Well, Kids Cook Night did take away the stress of one night each week when three little faces around the table scowled about what I put in front of them. And it made the three of them just a little more appreciative of what I did every other night of the week at suppertime.
It might sound like a lot of work for just a little payoff, but there was a lot of learning going on. Planning, organization, math skills, reading recipes, and most certainly interpersonal skills as they tried to pull off a meal without killing each other. To this day they’re all pretty proficient in the kitchen, and they have great memories of those Friday night efforts.
Feeling brave? Give Kids Cook Night a try and let me know how it goes.