Kitchen Kids: A Little Prior Planning (and some work)

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The other day I asked Mouse to run several heads of cabbage through the food processor so we could have coleslaw with our sloppy joes at dinner. She was quite happy to do it, excited to learn how to make coleslaw since she loves to eat it!

A brief lesson on using the food processor safely, and she quickly had the cabbage ready.

Then I made the discovery.

We had no mayonnaise!

Bad planning. And a little girl who was really disappointed. And a mom who needed to quickly find some other vegetable for dinner!

It’e one of the main things that keeps me from getting the kids into the kitchen to cook.

When I don’t have a plan both for the meal and for what parts the children will do, I find it easier to let them play or read than to try and figure out what they can do with the three-year old trying to see everything and the eight month old grabbing my ankles.

But one of my goals is to have them be really competent in the kitchen and for each of them to cook at least once a week. I have to make planning that a priority and then see to it that I follow through on the plan.

 

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Saturday or Sunday afternoons are my time to sit down and plan out the week including the menu. I have been just writing down what we are going to eat, keeping in mind which days are good for the crockpot and when I can do a bit more elaborate stuff.

A few weeks ago though I decided to make a simple menu planner that allowed me to write down what the children would do. That way I could line up the cooking helper for a particular night with what needed to be done and could most easily be managed by whom!

There’s a space for meals themselves as well as space for things I might want to prep ahead or that I will have a child do. I also have a space to write down what I need to shop for so we don’t run into another “no mayo!” situation.

Having everything written down has really made things easier and the children enjoy being able to look at the menu on the fridge and know what they are supposed to cook!

I thought it might be handy for others besides myself so here it is in a handy download!

[download id=”44″]

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