By Sherry Jennings, Dream Dinners
Not everyone has the opportunity to be raised with parents who love to cook, who know their way around the kitchen and enjoy sharing that passion with their families. Some of us had that opportunity and we’d be brought into the meal making process at various times to stir, chop, taste, or simply salivate during the wait.
I was raised in such a family. My mom was Italian and spent long Sunday afternoons stirring pots of sauce even in the summer. My dad, an Englishman, enjoyed cooking just as much, although he cooked things he truly had a passion for. His family baked daily so the muffins and breads were on a seemingly endless cycle. He also loved hot sauces and would grow his own peppers and spend hours canning his well-known and sought-after “hot source.”
From fish to pasta, vegetable bakes to anything grilled, my parents kept me involved and I grew up loving home cooked meals shared with my family and friends.
Sure, today’s family schedules are jammed packed and events are endless. That’s why Dream Dinners is the perfect partner to keep families connecting, sharing and bonding through the power of the dinner table. I’m pretty sure my mom would have appreciated the effortlessness dinners Dream Dinners could have provided when we spent our summers at the lake house in Pennsylvania.
We, at Dream Dinners, know this isn’t simply a generational thing. Not everyone grew up with parents who loved to cook, and not everyone got chance to jump into test the sauce or toss spaghetti on the kitchen cabinets to see if it was done. (My mother was not a fan of the pasta tossing, but my in-law’s family was.) Thankfully, Dream Dinners keeps the power of the dinner table in tact without burdening families with the long arduous task of prepping sauces, vegetables and, oh, even shopping.
That’s why the Dream Dinners lifestyle is a perfect place to share that love of connecting in the kitchen and over dinner with our younger generations. April is Kids in the Kitchen Month at Dream Dinners and we’re encouraging those budding chefs to get into the kitchen action, no chopping involved. According to a University of Alberta study, research has shown that children who help with making dinner are less likely to grab for unhealthy food options. They may even enjoy fruits and veggies over the go-to junk food.
Cooking with your kids doesn’t need to be a daunting task. Thankfully, there isn’t much to prep with Dream Dinners, so you won’t be finding errant tips of vegetables behind the appliances for weeks. If you’re not a kitchen warrior and feel overwhelmed with adding another body to the meal-cooking process, don’t fret. We have a few tips to help.
- Get your kids involved with the planning. Show them Dream Dinners online and have them shop for dinners with you.
- If your Dream Dinners store allows you to have your children help assemble meals, bring them to your session. Help them with measuring and identifying ingredients. This is a great way teach a little math at the same time.
- Make sure the kitchen is safe for them to jump in with you. There should be clear communication around stove and oven safety, as well as sharp objects and appliances.
- Read through the cooking instructions with your children. Lay out the Dream Dinners bags and identify which ingredients are which. If you have several children, they can be responsible for different tasks.
- Make clean up part of the process. Your kids will instantly love that cooking with Dream Dinners drastically shortens clean up.
- Enjoy the experience. Enjoy the mess. Enjoy sharing.