Pizza Night is Win-Win for Everyone
Both of my kids (aged 4 and 8) have always shown some interest in the cooking process, but my wife wasn't always too keen on squeezing into our tiny kitchen with an extra two tiny chefs. Like most moms, she's super-busy and doesn't always have the time and patience required to guide kids in the kitchen, especially when there are competing schedules and dinner needs to be on the table ASAP.
So on Saturday nights we've started "pizza night": mom takes a break and the three of us (dad and two kids) hit the kitchen to cook dinner for the family. Whether it's grating cheese, chopping onions, slicing mushrooms, peeling garlic or making the sauce, everyone has their job. And we all take turns kneading the dough and making the pizzas.
Sure, it takes a little longer than usual, but it has turned into a fun tradition that everyone looks forward to (though we took a break in this past summer of scorching heat). We have fun MAKING, not just EATING! Now, after about a year of doing this, the kids remind me that it's time to start making the pizzas by getting dressed up in their own little aprons and chef hats. That's my cue.
As an unforeseen bonus, these normally picky eaters have actually helped ME to become less picky as well--they introduced me (kicking and screaming) to whole wheat pizza, which I now love! Imagine that. So, it's really win-win-win: mom gets the night off (win), the kids get to be chefs like they wanted (win), and dad gets to have a great time while eating the tasty rewards (win)!