Family Mealtime // How to Get Kids Involved

Getting Kids Involved

September is National Family Mealtime month. Each Friday this month we’ll be posting on that topic — specifically from the Live Well Utah Cookbook, Family Mealtime Edition. This publication is available for free at your local Extension office, or available digitally here. It features some great tips on the importance of family mealtime and meal planning, plus 21 quick, inexpensive, and nutritious recipes that are sure to please even the pickiest eaters. 


Getting Kids Involved

Involving children in meal planning and cooking at a young age is a great way to instill a love for delicious, homemade food! Here are some ideas on how to include kids of all ages in the kitchen. Remember to choose age appropriate jobs and keep safety in mind at all times.

Ages 2-5

Meal Planning:

  • Color coordinate fruits and vegetables
  • Circle foods they would like in store advertisements
  • Help cut coupons
  • Choose one meal they would like

Grocery Shopping:

  • Point out fruits and vegetables from the grocery list
  • Choose a new fruit or vegetable to try

Cooking:

  • Pour premeasured items into bowl to mix up
  • Tear up lettuce for a salad
  • Rinse off fruits and vegetables

Ages 6-10

Meal Planning:

  • Help make a list of meals they like
  • Look at USDA’s MyPlate diagram and come up with one meal following the diagram
  • Choose fruits and vegetables to put on the side of the main courses

Grocery Shopping:

  • Read the list to parent and cross items off as they are put in the cart
  • Choose a new fruit or vegetable to try

Cooking:

  • Measure ingredients and put them together with parent’s help
  • Toss a salad
  • Knead dough
  • Put together sandwiches

Ages 11-18

Meal Planning:

  • Look up three new recipes on social media
  • Create a 3-day menu using USDA’s MyPlate as a reference for a complete meal

Grocery Shopping:

  • Take a portion of the list and retrieve those items
  • If old enough to drive, do a small grocery trip on own
  • Keep track of the money saved each week

Cooking:

  • Run the show as head chef! Put together a full meal and recruit family members to help as needed

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