Thursday, April 18, 2013

Getting kids involved in the meal plans and cooking! Success!

Granted we're only our first week into this new "activity" I've forced on my children, they/we/I love it.  I meal plan on Sundays as that day works best with our schedule for shopping, etc.  I decided to get the whole family involved.  They each get one day a week (based on our schedules with sports, dance, music, etc) that they get to pick the meal, and help me cook.  It's so great as it eases my having to find seven meals that we'll all like, and I get to have that one on one time in the kitchen with them. 

I want my kids to learn to cook.  To never have to depend on our crappy fast food chains to feed themselves.  I'm realistic, we all know they'll be making midnight runs to Taco Bell with their friends, (if they're anything like me at that age), but I like to think that them having the ability to cook and depend on themselves to make good food will give them some power to continue eating healthy even after leaving home.

Olivia's day was Monday and she chose a Cheezy Potato Soup from the Forks Over Knives cookbook.  She also chose to make a side salad with lentils and cabbage on it (because she loves it...yes, a 9 year old who loves cabbage and lentils).  We were all introduced to lentils and cabbage as a salad when we were on the Whole Living Action Plan Cleanse - here's the recipe that the whole family loved that has now inspired our salad making to be different :  French Lentil Salad   (Click on photos to enlarge)

The soup was delicious!   We decided to throw some of our extra lentils as a garnish as well!  The kids love being able to serve the food for each person in the family, to make everything look good when serving plates and setting the table.

Madison had last night for cooking and she chose a Penne with Spinach and Chickpeas.  Very good pasta dish, very simple flavors and something you can vary in so many ways.  She also made a spinach salad, and again topped it with lentils.  We make a homemade ranch that all the kids love.  A recipe I've created just from playing with the following ingredients:

Coconut Milk
Fresh Dill
Fresh Parsley
Garlic (fresh minced or powder)
Sea Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper

I can't tell you how much money we've saved from not buying ranch for the past 4 months!

(Sorry for the crappy quality of pics...I'll do better next week when I'm not so busy with work). =)

So, getting children involved = success.  I have a meal plan on the fridge with the list of each days meals, as well as which kid is helping me cook and the kids keep referring back to it, discussing what they chose, whose day it is, etc.  And, I'm getting help in the kitchen!!!  So great!  Definitely recommend getting your children involved!!

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