Eat Healthy

Make dinners fun with a theme

June 21, 2020

When it comes to new ideas for supper, one of the hardest things is staring at a blank calendar and not knowing where to start. But meal planning and prep can be a great outlet as it lets us explore our creative side and ensures more quality time as a family unit.

Building a Family Theme night is a fun way to introduce your kids to cooking together that involves everyone contributing towards a common goal from sourcing the ingredients, learning about the farm-to-table process, shopping as a family to creating your own take on a classic dish.

But meal planning and prep can be a great outlet as it lets us explore our creative side and ensures more quality time as a family unit.

Building a Family Theme night is a fun way to introduce your kids to cooking together that involves everyone contributing towards a common goal from sourcing the ingredients, learning about the farm-to-table process, shopping as a family to creating your own take on a classic dish.

The idea is simple

Assign a food theme for each night of the week – let’s start with Mexican Mondays as a healthy start to our week - plus it gives the kids something to look forward to.

Allow everyone to brainstorm dishes they would like to include for this family style gathering – aim for a nice balance of plant and protein options. Have all your ingredients ready to go. Find a simple recipe to guide the process, teaching them about food prep from scratch and interesting ways to introduce new flavours to reflect their personality.

Stories behind what they eat

Most kids today are less familiar with the various types of foods that are most healthy for them, like fruits and veggies. It’s not surprising that a recent poll revealed that many children lack basic knowledge of where their food comes from – such as eggs are produced by chickens.

As a parent, let’s take this opportunity to provide some pointers when shopping or cooking meals together to ensure kids look at food in a totally different way.

Local food movement

A simple and interactive way to reinforce the origin of food is to map it out and show the distance from the farm to the supermarket. Identify a fresh vegetable or cut of protein, find where it was grown or raised on a map; then calculate the kilometres it would have to travel to get to you.

Taking it even further, we can also talk to our children about how we can grow our own food on the balcony, backyard or in a nearby urban garden.

Remember produce tastes best when it is in peak season.

Focusing on seasonal options, ensures your family gets a healthy balance of fruits and vegetable every day.

Grown to grow

What’s more exciting than seeing a lettuce plant grow from a seed? Or pulling a carrot from the ground, rinsing it off, and taking a bite?

Kids feel empowered when they’re a part of growing something and it teaches them how to live more like a real farmer! This reinforces the importance of supporting a nearby farm or grower, helping children better connect with their source of food.

Together, we can introduce kids to fun, hands-on growing, cooking and family tasting experiences that are as delicious as they are healthy.

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