Solution #4: Reinstate the Kids’ Menu (With a Twist)

Mom and son cooking together The more you can involve your kids in everything from choosing food for your meals to preparing the dishes, the faster you’ll be able to make progress changing the way your family eats. The holidays present a particularly ripe time to put this principle into practice.

Enlist your kids to help create your holiday menu. Invite your kids to create names for each dish featuring the person who voted for it: Mom’s Maple Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, Catherine’s Brussels Sprouts Chips, James’ Jumpin’ Green Beans, Gram’s Classic Roast Turkey, Dad’s Downhome Quinoa Stuffing, Papa’s Poppin’ Pomegranate Sauce.

Even better if you cook the recipes together, and then let them serve.

Do not have a separate kids menu. It’s fine to prepare dishes in a way that allows everyone at the table to assemble to their preference—more or less onion, sauce on the side—but it’s important for everyone to be eating the same meal.

When you give thanks, invite each person to share why they added their dish to the menu. It’s an easy way to get everyone involved, and your kids will beam with pride when the time comes to serve (and eat) their signature dish.

An easy thing you can do this week:

Let Kids Lead: Invite your kids to take over your family menu for one day this week. Let them choose which recipes to feature—for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Make time to cook one of the recipes together, and be sure to let them serve it. When you’re gathered around the table, ask your little chef to share why they picked that recipe and what they might change the next time they make it with you.

Tune in tomorrow when I share Solution #5: Keep Trying

Jennifer Tyler Lee

Jennifer Tyler Lee is the author of The 52 New Foods Challenge: A Family Cooking Adventure for Each Week of the Year (Penguin Random House/Avery 2014) and the creator of the award-winning series of healthy eating games, Crunch a Color®.

Note: This Perspectives Blog post is written by a guest blogger of DrGreene.com. The opinions expressed on this post do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Dr. Greene or DrGreene.com, and as such we are not responsible for the accuracy of the information supplied. View the license for this post.

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