Friday, May 25, 2012

Family Fun - Cooking dinner!

I'm excited about today!

One of the things that I've been trying to work on is really playing and interacting with my kids. I know that sounds a little silly considering I'm their mom and shouldn't I be doing that already? Yes, yes, I do. But I'm not perfect. There are certainly days where I bribe them into playing with each other so I can get dinner finished, nurse the baby, or just breathe for a minute or two.

A few years a go, the hubs and I had crazy work schedules, but somehow we both had Sundays off, so we made a point of doing something as a family EVERY Sunday. And we did and it was great!

Then we moved, got new jobs, schedules changed, things happened, and we drifted away from that.

I've been trying to refocus our family and get us to spend some quality time together. All five of us would be ideal, but it is true that my hubs is a hard-working man and isn't home much during the week. Sometimes our weekends consist of visiting family and birthdays and graduations and housework we put off for far too long. We can't always get out and DO. So sometimes, after a long week, it's just me and the kiddos, and why can't we have some fun just the four of us?

So I've decided to start a little meme type deal. Each week, I want to come up with one activity we do as a family. Maybe just the four of us, maybe all five of us. Probably not the baby, she's not that handy with scissors and glue just yet.

I will write about what activity we did that week or plan to do that weekend. I will then have a link below so others can write about their activities as a family and link up. I think sharing ideas is going to really encourage myself, and others, to get out (or stay in!) and have some fun with their kids!

So last week I decided that we needed to do something about the way these kids are eating, or how they are NOT eating. For whatever reason, the older two have become a bit picky. We eat together at the table most nights for dinner. I haven't quite mastered the art of nursing the baby anywhere in my house besides the couch and my bed, so if she's fussy, it is sometimes the kids at the table and me with the baby on the couch. No ideal, but I'm still learning.

ANYWAY, mama needed to get creative! So I remember reading about how some kids really eat better when they are involved in the kitchen. I figured why not? I tend to be the mom who yells at them for getting in my way or making messes in the kitchen, which has nothing really to do with them and is just all about me and my issues. I figured if I let them help once a week, pick the menu, make dinner (with my guidance of course), and we did it on Friday nights when there was really no rush to get to bed at a specific time since there's no school the next day...maybe if I could let go of the control a little, we'd be able to have some fun and get the kids to eat.

A few years a go, somebody bought me Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Meals for Kids. I had always kind of brushed that book off because she made foods we just didn't eat normally, and there was always an ingredient or two I wasn't sure of. I finally pulled it out and let the kids look through it.

                                          Cooking Rocks! Rachael Ray 30-Minute Meals for Kids

They came up Fruit Benedict's and Egg Scrambles. Easy enough...english muffin with peanut butter topped with pineapple and banana, and essentially scrambled eggs and ham. We can do that!

I wish I would have taken pictures. Mental note for next time!

Also? It took us WAYYYY longer than 30 minutes!

The kids had a BLAST! We learned that they do NOT like Fruit Benedict's...they would rather just eat the pineapples and bananas on their own. But they did try it! And that doesn't happen often with the four year old!

They had so much fun spreading the peanut butter, cracking the eggs, mixing. It was seriously a good time, and well worth the mess I cleaned up after. They actually cleaned up most of it on their own, so I had nothing to worry about!

I think we've decided that every Friday will be their night to get in the kitchen. The nice part of that is they don't bother me too much on the other nights to be able to help. And because I now see how helpful they really can be, I'm not so quick to say no when they do ask. Win, win, I think.

So what are you doing with your kids this weekend? Family outings? Craft time? Memorial Day weekend for us means we will probably head up north to hubby's sister's house!

(I also realize that it may take some time for anybody to link up with this, but I will post it every week until it happens! Don't be shy, join in and share!)

Please link to your entry, and not just your blog!


  1. I love this idea! I know it's hard to let them make messes, but kids love to have a hand in what they eat. I hope you have something fun planned for tomorrow!

    1. Thank you! Oh yes, I struggle with that "letting go" thing, letting them just be and not sweating the small stuff like a mess that can be easily cleaned up. It's a challenge for me, definitely, but I guess that's another way my kids teach me to be better, too! :)