Involving children during meal preparation is a great way to spend time with children, to create memories, to model positive behavior, to teach about food and meal preparation, and to encourage children to eat the food being prepared.
- Ideal setting for family communication.
- Delegating mealtime tasks is a great way to combine work with family fun.
- Saves time and provides an opportunity to interact.
- Meal preparation and clean-up teach important life skills.
- It may help family members enjoy dinner if you allow them to be in charge of one meal per week.
Use the Create Family Mealtime Children Involvement Chart handout Microsoft Word – Meal Planning book insert.docx (usu.edu) to find ways you may have never considered to include your family.
Children can help you make a list of meals they like, come up with fruits and vegetables to put on the side of the main courses you show them, and look at MyPlate diagram to come up with one meal that follows the diagram. This will help you learn foods they are interested in and teach them the importance of meal planning.
If your children are older, have them put their social media skills to work to search for new recipes and if they can drive, maybe complete a small shopping trip. They will learn what it takes to be in charge of a meal and develop grocery shopping and money management skills.