Keep Meals Fun While Dining at Home
Like me, you’re likely finding yourself eating and cooking at home more than normal. Not everyone loves to cook in the first place, so the additional meal prep can feel like a burden. Planning meals and cooking can be a fun way to get the family engaged in an activity together. Looking for ways to spice up mealtime? Here are some ideas to try!
- Take turns planning meals. Everyone in the family is assigned a night to plan a meal of their choice. If they are old enough, get them involved – washing produce, mixing ingredients or whatever they are able to do.
- Make one new recipe each week. If your stuck in a rut of the same dishes on repeat – find new ones! Look through cookbooks or magazines and allow everyone to mark recipes they want to try. Or checkout your Pinterest board and choose one you saved years ago.
- Try a theme night. Consider dressing up and making dishes related to a certain culture, holiday or even movie. Try a Spanish fiesta, recreate Christmas dinner or enjoy a cowboy barbecue complete with hats and boots.
- Think beyond the dinner table. Have a picnic outside, eat in the back of the car or even eat on floor! Opt for a change of scenery to make things fun.
- Have a virtual dinner date. Set a menu with friends and video chat while you prepare and enjoy the meal.
- Other tips: Swap recipes with a neighbor, try new seasonal produce at the store, play music while you cook, learn to use your instant pot or slow cooker and enjoy local takeout.
Finding ways to keep eating and cooking fun during this unique time can be a challenge. Try looking at it as an opportunity to make recipes you’ve always wanted to try, to teach your kids to cook and to enjoy the company of your family while enjoying delicious foods. Happy Eating!
Ellen Thomsen, MS, RD, LMNT, CDE is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist and Integrative and Functional Nutrition Certified Practitioner. She is the diabetes education program coordinator at CHI Health and sees patients at the Millard Clinic. She works with patients to identify root causes to health conditions and make changes to improve overall health. Ellen’s passion is to help others develop lifestyle habits that allow them to feel their best.