Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Power to the People

My kids are pretty good eaters, yet we still have our issues.  Does this sound familiar?
Kids: What's for dinner?
Parent: (Insert any dinner menu here).
Kids:  Ugh! Groan! Oh, the horror!

I decided to return the power to the people.  Each kid is now in charge of planning one dinner a week.  They have full access to any of my cookbooks, food magazines or anything their imaginations come up with.  We have two rules:  The meal has to include at least one vegetable course and no one is allowed to complain about the chosen menu.  The chef du jour writes up the grocery list and helps with all the prep and cooking that they can handle.

The 7-year-old's menu:
Indonesian Grilled Swordfish
Creamy Cheddar Grits
Parmesan Roasted Broccoli

The 5-year-old's menu:
Sole Meuniere
Confetti Corn & Raw Carrot Sticks

The verdict? THIS IS AWESOME, PEOPLE!!!  My kids love this.  They are chopping, stirring and tasting which leaves very little time for complaining and groaning.  They are choosing foods that surely would have been panned if I had served them and they are EATING THEM.  They are starting to understand the planning and work that goes into getting a meal on the table.  And they take it very personally if someone does not like what they've made.

This will definitely be a tradition we will continue for years to come.  I'd love to hear from you if you try this at home and what menus your kids come up with!


Lisa said...

Great idea! I'll definitely have to try it. I'm tired of slaving away on nice dinners (i.e. chicken and dumplings) only to hear, "Ew!" when it's presented.

Kathleen said...

I haven't tried this with the little man yet, but you've inspired me to give it a go. When I was a teenager, we were each required to plan and cook a meal once a week and I've always imagined that r would have the same experience...just not this soon!

K said...


TriStar Design said...

This is a really great idea! I remember picking on recipes and cooking with my mother. Very cool.

Lisa said...

We tried this, and it was fantastic! The girls were limited to what we had in house, but we were treated to awesome baked spaghetti with a spinach and cucumber salad by my oldest, and choose-your-ingredients omelets (featuring broccoli, potatoes, onions and cheese) with fruit skewers and toast by my three-year-old. She even cracked all the eggs but one by herself and only got a bit of shell in once.

Meredith said...

That's wonderful Lisa! Teach the girls to take a big piece of the eggshell and dip it into the egg mixture and the little bit of shell will swim right over to be scooped out.