COVID-19 meal times are the best times of the day! According to Google, the most searched items are recipes especially breads and banana bread! It is a great time to take advantage of cooking with those in your home and on your quaranteam. On FoodTV we are seeing quaranteam cooking in everyone’s homes like Ree Drummond of Pioneer Woman. Join the fun of cooking with those in your home or who you are isolating with you!
When I talk with families, the biggest fail at family meal time is deciding what to cook! The parents feel the ownership of what to prepare and feel compelled to decide. That decision making creates paralysis. Let’s share this responsibility with your family by creating a menus with their input. Families have been creating theme nights during the pandemic to spice up their time together. This includes different countries’ cuisines to cooking in different times in history. Work together to plan and write out a menu so everyone looks forward to dinner together.
Dreading your online grocery order? Our kids are digital natives and can help with this too! When groceries arrive, plan a group effort to organize and put away the items.
With many people at home, making dinner is a team effort. You can partner on different nights to prepare dinner. Cooking is a life skill that requires math so you are learning as you go. Reading the recipes require following instructions. Dinner prep is a great time for out of the box learning.
Dinner time chatter
Make communication the key during dinner. Set aside all technology (and that includes the parents.) Make dinner time talk more fun with these prompts.
- What’s one word that describes your day and why?
- What is the Best of the Week (BOW) and Worst of the Week (WOW)?
- If you could be a famous person for a week, who would you be and why?
- If you had a super power, what would it be and why?
Cafeteria, aka Leftovers
Because there are 3 meals or more a day at home, be sure to cook extra for leftovers and other meals. Get creative on how you plan to convert meals into a multi-purpose menu. Here are some ideas.
- Tacos become quesadillas and taco salad
- Marinara with pasta becomes pizza sauce
- Extra rice and beans become burritos
- Roasted veggies become Italian subs
Help your family be self-sufficient with an organized pantry.
Dinner clean up
No one wants to be left in the kitchen to clean up. How do you establish standard operating procedures for clean up after dinner? There are no reasons not to do this as a group now. Everyone can do one small part. There are paper plates too! Be sure the dishwasher is empty and ready to receive incoming plates, etc.
The best part of being together is the communication during dinner. Keep dinner time as together time during this “new normal.”