We're excited to welcome Jodi Dillmon, Senior Director with Pampered Chef to the MOB blog. You can learn more about Jodi and how to connect with her at the end of the blog post.
I started out as quite possibly the worst cook ever!! I was the queen of “charred” food before I started with Pampered Chef. I had zero confidence in the kitchen and a home-cooked meal for us was hamburger helper or rice-a-roni. After falling in love with the tools and recipes from Pampered Chef, I learned to cook without setting off the smoke alarm.
I have been on a mission to teach my kids how to cook from a young age so that when they become adults, they will have that confidence in the kitchen.
Here are a few tips on how you can get your kids involved in the kitchen at an early age, too.
Let them help in picking the recipes for the week. You pick what you want and then simply give your kids a choice between those items.
When I first started doing this, my hubby and I sat down and created our meal plan for the week. We mentally had decided what meals we wanted and then we let the kids each pick a day and they picked the meal for that day.
Let them help prepare the meal.
I have found when my kids help prepare a meal, they are way more likely to eat it. Then as they are helping, of course, praising them up and down about what an AMAZING job they are doing.
They also feel more empowered since they were able to choose the meal they wanted to make and now helping to make it. First it was just letting them measure things, then I started letting them stir things, and then I started letting them chop things (with my supervision of course).
Praise them AGAIN and AGAIN throughout the entire process and especially with eating the finished meal. Words of affirmation help to keep them excited about helping and they will want to help again.
Those not helping cook that night, are the ones who set the table.
Whoever helped to prepare the meal does not have to do the dishes.
Each family member takes their own plate to the sink and share in the responsibility of cleaning up.
We sit as a family for meal time.
Even with busy schedules we are very intentional about this time together. Mealtimes are such an incredible way to make lasting memories with your children. Create topics to talk about. A GREAT one we love is each person goes around the table and shares something good that happened to them that day. Even if someone had a bad day, we must think of something good that happened.
Setting Yourself Up for Success
There are a few things we had to let go of in the beginning to ensure we created the culture we wanted with this experience:
We had to be OK with a bigger mess being made. This was so HARD for me and my hubby at first. No crying over "spilled milk."
We also had to not be in a huge hurry. This does take more time in the beginning and a lot of patience. However, the time spent is so worth it.
Your kids will LOVE LOVE LOVE the time you are investing with them.
This is one of the BEST MEMORY MAKERS!!! Since we have 3 kids, this was 3 days a week we committed to. You get to choose the days and how you can make it work with your family. Even if it is just 1 day a week, start somewhere.
Jodi Dillmon is a Senior Director with Pampered Chef and has been with the company for 11 years. She has helped hundreds of families find easy mealtime solutions.