Ask any parent—whether they’re in the office, work from home, or work in their home—and they’ll all probably tell you that the most important thing is quality time with the family.
I’ve always believed that there’s no quality time like the time spent around the dinner table.
This is often the only meal families have the time to eat together. It also gives everyone a chance to catch up and talk about their day. This is the experience I had as a young girl and one I have with my family nowadays too.
Another thing any parent will tell you? Getting your kids’ interest and keeping it is basically an Olympic sport!
When it comes to any new adventure, in the kitchen or outside it, it’s important that your kids enjoy what they’re doing. On the flip side, coming up with new ideas to keep them entertained can be nerve-wracking as a parent—trust me, I’d know :)
If you’re looking for some inspiration, here are a few ideas that will have your kids elbow-deep in entertainment and give you some time to put your feet up for a well-deserved break. Try these recipes with your kids and enjoy a dinner that has plenty of love and warmth in it!
Tomato sauce: As parents, we know the struggle of trying to get our kids to eat as healthy as possible. While tomato sauce may not seem like the most exciting recipe, it will give your kids the chance to make a healthier alternative to that usual bottle of Heinz.
This is also a great base for a ton of other recipes like pasta dinners, pizza, homemade fries—the sky’s the limit!
Tacos: What’s not to love about tacos? They’re fun to make and to eat!
That’s why this is a great recipe for any family dinner. The whole family can get involved in choosing their favorite toppings. Your kids will also have plenty of opportunities to get creative with the construction of their tacos.
Ramen: I’m a big believer that the best way to learn about new cultures and countries is around a dinner table.
When you teach your kids to cook, you get to introduce them to new worlds, literally and figuratively. Trying new things, whether it’s tacos or ramen, will help them learn more about the world around them. It also helps them broaden their palates, which means less fussy eaters—an added bonus!
Risotto and salad: One way to make your kids eat more veggies—put it right next to a bowl full of pasta :)
This is a winning combination in my household and it’s an easy way to add more color to your dinner time! Once your kids learn how to make one salad, you can open up the field to a whole range of options. Veggies are much easier to swallow once they learn how to make them more fun.
One-pot Mexican skillet: Nothing cuts down on clean-up time like a one-pot dinner recipe!
This is a fun way to show your kids how easy cooking can be, even if you don’t have an arsenal of tools in your kitchen. The discovery that they can make a whole dinner in just one pot will change the way your kids see food. It will also help them see just how easy cooking can be.
Help your kids kiss boredom goodbye!
Whether you’re introducing your kids to a cooking class or teaching them yourself, remember to encourage them to have fun in the process!
If you’re ready to introduce your children to the kitchen, here’s my #1 tip from one parent to another: Always make cleaning up a step in the process. It’s definitely the recipe for a cleaner kitchen and the likelihood of you letting your kids back in it :)
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Before founding Bake Austin, Pascal Simon earned her degree as a Pastry Chef from the prestigious Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts. A mother of two, Pascal is passionate about cultivating the next generation of bakers and welcomes children from all schooling backgrounds, whether public, private or homeschooled.