Are the parents always doing the cooking in your house? How about getting the kids involved in preparing and cooking dinner? It’s well worth encouraging your kids to cook from a young age – not only will they be learning as they measure, weigh, time etc., but they are also getting an important life skill, and kids tend to try more food types if they have cooked them. Bonus – you get to sit back and be served! Here’s how to make dinner for your family in 10 simple steps.
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1. Decide On Your Menu & Recipes
The first important step of preparing any meal is deciding on your menu. Are you going to have a starter, main course and dessert?
If this is your first meal, don’t get too adventurous – perhaps just do one or two courses. It is also worth considering dishes or components of dishes that can be made in advance and reheated, or kept in fridge till needed.
Next step then is to find the recipes you will use for your dishes. Here are some handy links for inspiration:
- 20 Easy Delicious Easy Recipes for Kids to Make
- Simple Pasta Recipes for Kids
- Easy Peasy Baking Recipes for Kids
- Healthy Desserts
- 10 Simple Ice Cream Recipes Kids will Love to Make & Eat
- 50 Easy Family Dinners
2. Ingredient Check & Shopping-List
Based on the recipes you have chosen, do a stock-take of your cupboards and fridge, to see what you ingredients you already have and what you require.
Make a shopping list for those ingredients you need, and head off to the shops with your list.
3. Plan Your Cooking Times
If you’ve ever watched MasterChef, you will know that this is a crucial step on any meal planning. It’s important to ensure that all your components for each course are ready at the same time.
How long does each dish take to cook?
Depending on how each course or component of a dish takes to cook, you can draw up a plan / timetable as to what time each dish needs to be put on to cook.
Can anything be done in advance?
If you are doing dessert, perhaps opt for something that can be made in advance and reheated if necessary, or else a dessert that can be made and kept in fridge until required. Mashed potatoes, or veg, similarily can be also done in advance and reheated.
4. Advance Prep
If elements can be prepared in advance, then do – you can peel potatoes and veg, and leave covered in water until you need them. Chop herbs etc. in advance – they will last fine.
Using your meal time-table, start your prep and cooking, taking notes of all your times. Use an alarm clock or timer to help you keep on track.
6. Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help
Rope in some help (either sibling, friend, adult) if you need some, or feel you are running out of time, or just not sure about any particular step.
After all, every professional chef has a team of chefs working along side them!
7. Create Your Menu
Create your own menu card of Today’s Menu to add to the fun of the occasion. You could do this by writing on a chalkboard, or a handwritten version on paper/card, or on a printable template.
8. Set the Table
Set the table neatly for the occasion of your meal or ask one of your siblings/friends to help! You can be as creative as you like – this is your meal after all. Leave a copy of the menu on/near the table for your diners.
Ask all your ‘guests’ to be seated. It’s okay to ask for some help in serving everyone. This can get a bit frantic, trying to get everything plated up, and served to your diners while still warm – rope in a sibling/friend to help you serve the diners.
10. And Relax!
When you have served dinner, sit back and enjoy while others do the dishes and bask in the glory and all those fabulous compliments!
P.S. If something goes wrong that’s okay, practice makes perfect :)
Over to you! Have you made dinner for your family – any tips you would like to share?