Being a working parent and also a student can be quite challenging. Wearing many hats and juggling all the different responsibilities that each role requires is enough to wear anyone out. But spending time together and utilizing your culinary arts education by cooking together as a family is one way to have fun in all the chaos that life brings.
We have compiled a list of ten fun and easy family cooking activities to get dinner on the table and have some family fun in the process. As a culinary arts student, this is your time to shine at home and teach your children some healthy ways to have fun in the kitchen. Let’s celebrate National Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day.
Whether it’s a regular weeknight event, or a quick and delicious breakfast, tacos make a great family meal in which everyone can help. Older kids can season and cook the meat, while smaller children can beat the eggs, mash up the guacamole or set up an assembly line for the finished product.
For chicken salad, you can show your culinary talents by using your own brine for your chicken and throw it on the grill, or make life easier with a store bought rotisserie. Chicken salad is a simple meal that is a crowd pleaser. Children can have fun helping shred the chicken and scoop out the mayo. They will be great helpers adding all the delicious ingredients such as onions, grapes, walnuts, celery – the list is endless. Then stir it all together and serve it on a tasty baguette or on salad greens. It keeps for days and makes a quick dinner or a healthy lunch.
Who doesn’t love homemade pizza? It’s a fun treat for children because they get to play with pizza dough and they can control whatever goes their pizza. This is a great way to get kids to eat their vegetables. Set up an assembly line of toppings and let them decide which vegetables they want to try.
Baking is a terrific activity for kids in the kitchen. There are plenty of opportunities to measure, pour, and stir the ingredients. They can scoop out the cookie dough and decorate the cookies when they come out of the oven. You can make these cookies healthier with recipes that use carrots, raisins, pumpkin, applesauce or oatmeal.
Muffins are a one-two punch. They are easy and delicious, but they are also a food you can make ahead for breakfasts or snacks to save time later. Again, children have fun with baking because there is a lot for them to do. Muffins are so versatile as well; you can include lots of healthy ingredients like zucchini, flax seeds, and bananas.
Another healthy and easy option for family cooking is a stir-fry. Older children can help chop veggies of their choice, and younger children can participate by measuring and pouring the sauce. Parents will need to cook on the stove and kids can help plate the meal and serve.
Although you don’t need a culinary arts degree to pack a picnic lunch or dinner, it is a cooking activity that is sure to bring the family together. Pack up some of your family’s’ favorite lunch staples and head to the neighborhood park or event the backyard for some fresh air. Bring a football or frisbee and have some fun.
A great family favorite, lasagna is a great meal everyone can help with because it’s so versatile. You can change the ingredients to please everyone. Children can mix the cheeses and help layer and spread all the ingredients. Parents or older children can cook the meat beforehand. Serve with homemade bread and this meal will be a real treat.
Who doesn’t love homemade bread? There are many easy and delicious recipes for bread that will have your family wanting to eat homemade bread every night of the week. Homemade bread is always a healthier option because you can control the ingredients and leave out the preservatives you find in the store-bought variety.
A casserole is a family classic. Use your culinary arts skills to kick it up a notch by using quality ingredients, switching out the vegetables you use and trying out new sauces to bring the meal together. Include pasta, rice or potatoes to round out the casserole. Kids will love mixing it all together and watching it bake to perfection in the oven.
Children are natural chefs. The measuring, pouring, chopping and mixing that comes with cooking is what children love to do most. Finding the time to spend together as a family in the kitchen will bring you closer together and get dinner on the table!