Sometimes, family dinners can start to feel like a chore.
With poor planning, picky eaters, and hectic schedules, it’s easy to feel like you’re serving the same meals over and over again.
But with a little creativity, family meals can be an opportunity for both parents and children to build stronger relationships while trying something new. Because meals are about more than just feeding your children. They’re also about the time you spend together – whether you’re finding new ways to have fun or just talking about your day.
To bring some excitement back into your dinners, check out some of these ways to bring the family together:
Plan a movie night: Turn on your favorite film and try making a dinner inspired by the story itself. You might cook chili and cornbread for a Western or get creative by mimicking a meal you see on the screen. Read more in our list of creative ideas for family movie night.
Build your own meal: Give your family the option to create their own dishes – think “Taco Tuesday” or build-your-own-pizza night. Kids will love making their own culinary creations and learning something new. Meanwhile, you’ll benefit from some extra sets of hands.
Fake take-out: A stop at the drive-thru makes picking up dinner easy. But what if you gave fast food a home-cooked twist? Take your family’s usual order and try to recreate it at home. What started as a No. 5 can become a burger with your own family flair.
Teach a cooking class: Teach your kids a valuable life skill. Letting children help cook a meal can get them more excited about eating it, while being involved in the process. The more you do this, the better they’ll be at cooking for themselves when they get older.
Try new cuisine: With an endless amount of recipes online, there are plenty of new meals to choose from if you want to try a different style of food. Opt for stir-fry instead of spaghetti; make breakfast for dinner; or try cooking that meal you love ordering at a restaurant, but have never been brave enough to make at home.
Host a cooking competition: Give every family member the same ingredients and split them into teams. You’ll get a chance to try something new and bring competitive energy into the kitchen. Just make sure everyone is involved in the cleanup process, too!
A new approach can be all it takes to liven up your family dinner. The themes and meals don’t have to be extravagant for everyone to enjoy spending time together.
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It’s the perfect time to remind ourselves to plan ahead for the ones we love.