Tips for your kids to get involved in family mealtimes

Heaven knows, kids can be fussy with food at the best of times.  Getting them involved in household meals- from planning to shopping to cooking AND eating - helps them to feel like they’ve had a hand in things.  And if this makes them more likely to eat well and try new foods, all the better!

Starting at the planning stages, why not ask your kids to contribute their ideas about what the family will eat for the week ahead?  Breakfasts and school lunches are an easy place to start.  Take their suggestions for dinners on board too, perhaps letting them choose a favourite fruit or vegetable to include.  Broccoli florets (or ‘little trees’!) are often a favourite of kids.  Little broccoli fans will love this Bacon and Broccoli Carbonara pasta dish - part of our Winter Feed Four for $15 recipe collection.

Next, let the kids join in at grocery shopping time.  Whether youre shopping in-store or online, you can ask them to help identify the things you need, teaching about different vegetables and fruits as you go.  In-store shopping is also a great opportunity to help kids with their maths.  You can ask younger kids to ‘count six potatoes into this bag, or get older kids to use the weighing machine at the bulk bins to weigh the right amount for their recipe.

Back in the kitchen, there are lots of easy tasks for little hands to help with when preparing meals.  For instance:

  • Collecting and counting out ingredients
  • Transporting ingredients from the pantry or fridge
  • Measuring and weighing
  • Scrubbing and washing produce

Peeling onions can give you a fun opportunity for a little science lesson too.  As the tears stream down your face while youre chopping them, you can explain that onions release a chemical that irritates the eyes, and that triggers tears to flush out the invader!

With a little supervision, older kids can be encouraged to put together simple meals from start to finish.  Chicken and pasta bake, Slow-cooked Corned Beef with Smashed Potatoes and Moroccan Chicken are a few of the great new recipes at the Feed Four for $15 Hub with easy prep and cooking instructions perfect for a budding junior master chef.

While dinner is cooking, kids can have even more fun playing around with any leftovers.  This great tip from the Classic Mince and Cheese Pie recipe gets them rolling and cutting out any leftover pastry to bake their own shapes.

Helping start-to-finish with mealtimes means just that… the fun’s not over when the dinner’s eaten!  Get your kids involved with helping to clear away and clean up after the meal, as well as sweeping the floor and drying the dishes.