Mom, what’s for dinner? The best family dinner ideas
“I hate broccoli!” “We already ate lasagna this week.” “I’ll eat in front of the TV.” Sounds familiar? Coming up with a quick, healthy, yet tasty meal to satisfy the entire family and managing to gather them around the table has become increasingly hard. But there are plenty of reasons to bring this good old tradition back into your life. Keep reading to find out why and learn the best family dinner ideas to get you started.
Why we need to bring back the family dinner
The simple act of sitting down at the table together has a surprising amount of benefits. As a parent, you will have an easier time instilling lasting nutritional habits. Eating on the go, avoiding veggies and oversized meals might be setting your children back in terms of school performance, as well as exposing them to the risks of developing obesity.
During family meals, you get to control portions, teach your kids to love vegetables or explore new tastes and cultures with you. This time is also an incredible bonding and healing opportunity for both generations. Chatting, eating and trading stories regularly relieves stress and drastically reduces the probability of developing psychological problems.
Cooking kid-friendly meals – with kids!
Here’s how you can get even more quality time in: get both your partner and your little ones involved in cooking and cleaning up after themselves. They will thank you when they grow up. Here are three fun family dinner ideas for kids that you can all prepare together.
This Mexican staple is a treat for grown-ups and children alike. While you let the chicken breasts marinate, you can show your little helpers how to chop peppers and tomatoes (look into safe knifes for ages 5 and over, if you are worried). Otherwise, let them pick the fresh coriander leaves for the salsa, mix the ingredients or arrange them on a wrap.
Spaghetti with meatballs and hidden veggies
It’s no secret that most children go through a phase when they hate everything fresh, green and healthy. Let them roll the meatballs and sneak an extra load of veggies into the sauce instead. Add roasted zucchini, squash or a few extra slices of carrots and pulse it in the food processor to keep the texture smooth. Arrange the sauce and meatballs on a steaming plate of pasta and enjoy!
Colorful make-your-own pizza
This is one of the dinner ideas for kids and parents alike. Instead of greasy takeaway, add an explosion of fresh flavors to a plain pizza base. For example, top tomatoes, broccoli and green olives with pesto and mozzarella and eat fresh out of the oven in just 15 minutes!
Still not convinced? Tight schedule discouraging you from trying? There is another time-saving solution for working parents.
Family meal kits to the rescue!
Most major meal kit providers around the country, like Blue Apron, HelloFresh and Sun Basket offer a family plan. It usually serves four (two adults and two children) and features kid-friendly meals that both big and little picky eaters would love. These boxes were developed with busy parents in mind and serve to prove that you don’t have to sacrifice healthy home-cooked meals and quality time at the dinner table even if you are constantly on the go.