Monday, July 5, 2010

Helping in the Home: Dinner Menus

This Family Home Evening is the first in a series that will help Mom out and teach your kiddos about the work that goes into running a family. Growing up, we intermittenly had chores that we were expected to do, but for the most part we were just expected to fulfill whatever needs we saw. As a result of this, not all my siblings learned how to cook, clean and everything else that goes into running a household. We have since moved back in with my parents (while we look for our own place... we moved out of state for a new job in only 2 weeks) and I have siblings that aren't always willing to help out with things around the house. So, here is a family home evening that will, hopefully, help them understand that part of the privilege of living in a family is that you have to help keep it running.

You may not have "masses" to feed, but surely it seems that way sometimes. I don't know about anyone else but sometimes it seems like I get all cleaned up from one meal and it's time to start the next. It helps to have a plan in place. I could spend hours trying to come up with something for dinner... and here to simplify my life: the meal planner!

Things You'll Need:
There are tons of "Dinner Menu" displays and such out there. It can be as simple as a sheet of paper with your menu scribbled haphazardly on it and stuck to the fridge or a more elaborate, permanent display. I would suggest starting out with the sheet of paper on the fridge and, if this works for your family, then get something a little more permanent. Gather some cookbooks.

Song: Primary Children's Songbook, When We're Helping We're Happy, Page 198.

Lesson: Tell your children that you need help planning out some meals. Give each child an assigned meal(s). If your kids are in school already you may want to assign each child a night for dinner. I usually plan about two weeks worth of meals at a time. Give each child about 10 minutes to find a recipe they want to use for their meal(s). Remind your kids that they need to chose a real-rounded menu. This includes a main dish, a fruit or vegetable, a salad, bread or biscuits or something, ect. You set the guidelines. Have each child write down the ingredients for the recipe.

Activity: Make a grocery store run and get the things you don't have. Have your kids help make the list, pick out the food, unload it from the car and put it away. When each person's meal comes up, tell them they are expected to help cook it, serve it and clean up afterward.

Treats: Something simple and quick, such as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, that your kids can help put together and clean up from. Might as well start practicing it now.

Chose the format that fits your needs best. Click on the image to enlarge.