Kids Planning Dinner

by Meri on November 13, 2014

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I’m always thinking of different ways my kids can get involved with meals. In my experience whether they help with shopping or meal prep, it’s a great way to get them more excited about trying new foods especially during these picky years.

I decided to let them each plan their own dinner where they can choose the foods, shop and help prepare the meal. The whole enchilada. I was completely prepared to chime in as I expected a lot of ice-cream with a side of cookies and marshmallows smothered in chocolate sauce as their grand idea but was very pleasantly surprised. I didn’t have to guide or chime in at all. It turns out providing a variety of foods at each meal has stuck with them and they know what a balanced meal looks like. Yes…I was impressed. Mr. (as you can see in the photo) picked Hamburgers, French fries, carrots and apples. I was really surprised that each of my kids picked 2 to 3 fruits and veggies with their meal. 

This exercise was an eye opener for me in what powerful role models we really are as parents. It also reminded me how important it is to get those plant foods on the plate. Please realize…I’m not wearing a halo over here. I get how busy and hectic life gets with kids. When I started this blog it was my mission to make sure our family eats 5 to 9 servings of fruits and veggies each day. What that means for me is going to my standbys a lot. Those would include cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, carrots, avocados, apples and frozen blueberries. These are my I-don’t-have-time-to-think-about-what-to-put-on-the-table produce options. I use them more often than I’m proud of. BUT! How cool that my kids understand these foods are part of what creates a meal. Happy mama indeed. 

Give this exercise a try. Even if your kids do pick out unhealthy fare it’s a great exercise in teaching what makes a balanced meal. Oh…for the record, my kids did of course each pick out desserts that went with their meals. I don’t want to make them look over the top angelic here. ;-) 

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