Eating together during family dinner is a cornerstone of spending quality time with one another. We see family dinners everywhere, even in sitcoms and ads. Representation reinforces the importance of families gathering around the dinner table, but preparing the meal can also be a great opportunity for quality family time.
3 Reasons Your Family Should Cook Dinner Together Tonight
When you turn cooking dinner into a family activity, you enjoy the extra time you get to spend with your loved ones. There are three other important benefits, too.
1. Cooking Is a Fun Activity for Kids
Your kid will love getting involved in a primarily adult activity. Give your child age-appropriate tasks to entertain them, like coloring nametags, setting the table or stirring pre-measured ingredients. If your child wants to be present without performing a task, ask them to choose music for you or to tell you about their day while you cook. You might learn something new about your kid’s interests.
You can ask older kids and teens to help with the actual cooking. When they’re old enough to use the stove and chop vegetables, ask your child about the things they’re interested in doing. If they want to learn to bake, they can start dessert while you finish making the main course. If your child loves going outside, they might enjoy choosing fresh herbs from the garden. Whatever they like to do, try to match activities to those interests.
2. Picky Kids Will Be Proud of What They Made
If your child seems reluctant about strange food on their plate, involve them in the kitchen. When children make something, they feel pride and want to share that thing with others. Plus, your child will be more likely to try a food or dish they helped you make.
One of the best techniques to encourage your child to try new foods is to have them help you measure, pour and stir while you explain each step. Encourage them to try ingredients that are safe and tasty in their raw form. When you’re finished and seated at the table, ask your child to tell everyone else about the meal you’re going to eat. Most children will be excited and forget their initial hesitation.
3. Cooking Is a Learning Experience for Your Child
Cooking teaches your child countless lessons. Even young children should learn basic kitchen safety, but older kids develop practical skills and techniques, too. Teaching your kid how to make simple meals gives them a sense of independence.
Your child learns cooking skills as you assign them more tasks, but they also learn about other cultures through food. When you make new cuisine dishes at home inspired by other cultures, teach your child about where that food comes from. If your child asks about certain cultures, help them research and try an authentic recipe.
What Will Your Family Cook Tonight?
If you’re ready to turn cooking dinner into a bonding activity, you need a stress-free recipe that the entire family will love. Consider trying an Asian stir fry recipe like San-J’s Three-Step Stir Fry with your family tonight. Be sure to explore our San-J Tamari Soy Sauce and Asian Cooking Sauces to infuse your meals. For even more ideas, take a look at our recipes page!