When it comes to eating, we're all educators
As we head into November, there is a crisp back-to-school excitement in the air that’s contagious. You might find yourself thinking about the future, setting a goal or two, or perhaps doing a little extra philosophizing. We certainly do. As the kids are back in school and life feels a notch busier, we find ourselves thinking about what kind of a home we want to have, what our priorities are, and how to make things as manageable as possible.
In the past, we’ve reached out to some local personalities for advice and inspiration in this deparment—like Tamara Taggart, Stuart McLean, and Vikram Vij. These busy professionals are not unlike yourselves, which is why we really want to hear from YOU about routines that keep your family home life enjoyable. Please, take a moment to share a tip here.
Here are a few of the best weekly routines and ideas we’ve seen lately! We hope you find them as helpful as we do.
1. Kids Cooking Night
You’ve likely heard about the Kids Cook Monday, an organization that promotes setting aside one night a week where the kids are invited into the kitchen to plan and cook a meal—they suggest Monday, but of course, any night would be wonderful.
Why is this such a fantastic idea? Well, for one, because the research shows that kids who are invited into the kitchen take a much more profound interest in cooking and eating, and tend to enjoy better health as a result. Activities like this help to lay the foundation for healthy eating habits for life.
Here’s a toolkit that anyone can refer to for ideas. Though it says it’s for educators, it means ANY educator, parents included. (We’re all educators when it comes right down to it!)
Photo Credit: Dash and Bella
2. Lunch Prep Day
In the fall, we tend to talk lots about the importance of preparing meals in advance. This was actually the topic for a recent September blog, entitled Learning to Love Packing Lunches so we won’t digress too much here. But we love the idea of setting aside one day a week to get your lunches pretty much mapped out for the week. This is one way to make the week more manageable.
The same idea extends to dinner prep, keeping grocery lists, etc. Here’s a fun method for grocery shopping, used by family dinner advocate, Laurie David.
And here's another tip from The Family Dinner for keeping the notoriously crazy dinner hour on schedule (click here.)
3. Something New Night
We all get stuck in a food rut from time to time. It’s so easy to gravitate to the old stand-bys. One way to keep things fresh and exciting is to make a night of it. Each week, let one family member be responsible for thinking of something new they’d like to try cooking and eating…. and then do it! This is a fantastic way to infuse some new flavours and variety into your weekday meals.
Want some ideas? Check out our recipe index here. This Gnocchi recipe looks fantastic! If you'd like to experiment with a few new ingredients, here is a fantastic Coconut Vegetable Curry by Vikram Vij & Meeru Dhalwala with celery root and rapini.
4. Research for inspiration
One way to infuse some inspiration into the weekly routine is to check out what other people are doing. Sitting down with the kiddies to watch Youtube videos is always a good time, especially when you're gathering meal ideas and getting the kids stoked at the same time. (i.e. watch an Italian chef make pizza from scratch, a cake expert decorating a cake or sushi rolling.) And of course you can always look to our adorable video archives too! http://bettertogetherbc.ca/contest/videos
Don’t forget to share your ideas with us. Join the conversation here!