Family cooking time

Cooking and eating meals together is a valued practice in the home for families.

February 24, 2014 - Author: Imelda Galdamez, Michigan State University Extension

In this time of age, family time is as valuable as gold! Finding quality time and squeezing it in between school, work and other activities may present some challenges for you and your family. However, a great way to squeeze in some family time is to prepare and cook meals together. Spending time in the kitchen provides a space for bonding, gives your family control over the nutritional content and can turn into an educational experience for all. Not to mention, it also is a great way to help save some dollars. Below are some benefits of family cooking time:

  • The kitchen is a perfect place for bonding time with your kids. You can find yourself sharing stories, laughing and learning new things about one another.
  • Involving your kid in kitchen activities is fun, engaging and it reinforces responsibilities. Your child can help with setting the table or mixing the ingredients.
  • Children learn science, math, reading and writing skills when following a recipe. Give them the task of reading the recipe and measuring the amounts of ingredients. Have some scratch paper and a pencil on hand for additions and subtractions.
  • Involving your kid in the kitchen helps boost their confidence in trying new foods, especially for picky eaters.

Another suggestion for family time is to make grocery trips a fun experience for all. Prepare your shopping list ahead of time and involve your child in selecting recipes for the week. Once at the store, play a game of scavenger hunting with the family. Give the children a copy of the store circular and a copy of the grocery list. They can help you select and identify items on sale and locate the ingredients throughout the store. Family time is a busy juggling act, so make the best of it by incorporating it in the kitchen.

For a list of family friendly recipes, please visit USDA’s For additional nutritional guidelines, please refer to My Plate. Michigan State University Extension offers various educational programs for adults, families, and children that focus on lifestyle changes to promote healthy eating.

Tags: family, food & health, msu extension, nutrition

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