Daily Archives: January 18, 2010

Making Meal Planning Easier: Part 2

More from the website to make dinner preparation easier:

Set everything out you’ll need on the counter before you begin cooking, and put it away as you use it. This helps in two ways, less cleanup and if you get sidetracked by something (like a child’s blood curdling scream, you’re sure is life-threatening but turns out to be the dog has stolen her cookie), you’ll know exactly where you left off, since you very smartly put the garlic away, you won’t accidentally add double the recipe amount.

Involve the kids in dinner planning and preparation. Try letting them plan one entire meal each week. This can open up discussions of what is healthy food, what is a balanced diet and how important it is. If they are invested in what’s prepared there are fewer complaints about what’s for dinner. Younger children can wash vegetables, use kitchen scissors and do some supervised mixing. Older kids can prepare an entire dish with parents’ help. Great conversations can take place while meal preparation goes on. If homework needs to be done while dinner is prepared, put a plate of raw vegetables and ranch dip on the kitchen table and encourage the kids to do homework there, where parents can answer questions and make not only eating dinner family time, but dinner preparation family time as well.

Next week I’ll tackle what makes a well-stocked pantry, letting you create dinner out of thin air, so to speak.  Until then…