March 29, 2011
Preparing Meals Together
We have four children in our family, and each child has a day that it "theirs." Monday is my 9 year old's day, Tuesday is my 12 year old's day, Wednesday is my 6 year old's day, and Thursday is my 15 year old's day.
Of course they don't really own the day ;), but the concept started years ago when I was trying to figure our how to fairly decide who could choose which tv show or video they wanted to watch that day. I finally decided to assign each child a day when it would be their turn to choose what they wanted to watch. It's worked out well for us, so we've kept it up over many years.
For awhile we also started a plan where each child could go for a walk with me on their day, but sadly we haven't been doing that lately. I am planning to start it up again soon, though, because it's fun! That way we get some connecting time alone with each other, and it gives us a good opportunity to talk together or spend some time in companionable silence, enjoying each others company.
Recently we added something else to "their" day. For a little over two weeks our family has been doing something new for dinnertime--on their day they get to help choose what we eat for dinner and help prepare it as much as they can. It's been going very well! It's fun working together with my children, and they are doing such a wonderful and diligent job preparing the meals. So far we've had tacos, lasagna, long-grain brown rice with tofu, (vegan) hot dogs, cole slaw, macaroni salad, fruit salad, vegetable soup, corn chowder soup, and other great food! We've been eating very well. :-)
I got the idea of having them be "in charge" of a particular meal each week while reading Crystal Lutton's article As Children Get Older — How to Prune and Pull Weeds. In it she wrote about how each member of their family is responsible for dinner one night a week. She went on to explain,
The person responsible chooses a meal (from what we have and with guidance in how to plan a menu) and then cooks however much of the meal they are able. This means the 6 year olds help and the older children are doing some things themselves. They are learning other things and after getting helped a few times, they will do them on their own.
I thought it sounded like such a neat idea, and it's been really good for our family so far. Thank you, Crystal! And thank you, my dear children, for being so willing to help and for being so diligent and hard-working while you help prepare the meals and set the table. I'm enjoying it very much, and the food sure is yummy! ♥