Who says you can’t play with your food? Mealtimes can be quality time, learning time, playtime and bonding time all at once. Sharing a meal is a time of respite from the workday, school day and the stresses of everyday life. If you have children in your household it can also be a time to activate the power of play with fun and games.
A few ideas for mealtime engagement include:
Play restaurant. Help the kids design a menu with a list of choices for vegetables. They can act as the waitstaff to “take orders”, help in the kitchen and even be part of clean up. It’s all about role play and empowers by offering choices and giving them a role.
Dinner games. Keep conversations light with a game of 20 questions, trivia or take turns telling jokes.
Make a picnic. On a nice day, for a change of scenery, lay a blanket in the backyard or go to a park. The novelty of experience can enliven enthusiasm for the healthy foods eaten.
Grow a backyard garden. Even if you don’t have a backyard, small pots are perfect for growing herbs like parsley, cilantro and basil. Larger pots can yield lettuce and tomatoes to pick fresh for salads. Watering, feeding, watching seedlings sprout and grow is a miracle that brings a new excitement to food.
“Dinner is where the magic happens in the kitchen.” Kris Carr