Friday, July 28, 2017

What's For Dinner?

Do any of these phrases sound familiar?  "What's for dinner?" "Again?"  "Why do we always have that?"  or "I don't like that?"  I heard those phrases too many times and I knew something needed to change.  It was also time to change up the chore charts because the kids were starting to complain.  In my experience of assigning chores, it's always good to change things up every now and then.  You know, start fresh with a new system.  I like change and my kids are part of me, so naturally I think they like change as well.  At least they seem to get tired of the same thing over and over again.  So, I went to work!  I changed the chores all around and when I got to the kitchen chores a thought came to me.  Why not let the kids help out with planning and carrying out the dinner menu.  So, I formulated a plan.  This is how it goes...
So, my kids are older, 11, 14, 16, 18 years of age.  I started this little program about 2 years ago.  I thought it would be nice for them to learn simple skills in the kitchen for when they go off and live on their own.  Sniff, sniff!  I wanted to prepare them.
Every week the chores rotate to the next child. So each of them have a week of the same room (or zone) to clean.  For the kitchen, I sit down with them on Saturday morning and help them plan the meals for the week, and by help, I mean show them where the recipe books are or Pinterest (which we mostly use).  Here is a link to my boards if you want some good ideas for meals.  I'm always pinning yummy recipes for dinners, desserts, snacks, drinks, etc.  What did we ever do without Pinterest?  There's also Emeals that plans the meals for you around your local grocery stores sale ads.
By the way, they are not paying me for saying this, I just wanted to let you know about them,  I used it for awhile but then stopped because I wanted my kids to learn to plan meals themselves.  Although, Emeals would be good for that too because they always provide a side dish that's healthy and my kids seem to forget to include a veggie, salad, or something healthy as a side.  Maybe someday I'll go back to Emeals.  I really did love it!  Ok, so after we plan the menu and put a grocery list together, we head to the store...together.  We use this time to get to know one another.  Some one-on-one time.  I teach them about getting the best price on things and not to just grab an item and go.  We price match and make sure we're getting the most for our money.  It's been really fun!  Then, for that week they are in charge of dinners.  If they need help, of course I'm there to help them know what to do.  Sometimes, I end up making the meal because my older ones have clubs, work, or other activities they need to be at, but most of the time they are with me or doing it themselves in the kitchen with my direction.  My 18 year old can do more in the kitchen now then he could before we started this and that makes it a little easier to send him out into the world.  Just a little!  Here is the layout we use for the menu and grocery list. Feel free to use it if you'd like. 

What do you do to make life easier?

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