Perhaps the most special thing about cooking is the way that skills and traditions are passed down within families from generation to generation. Holidays—particularly food-focused holidays like Thanksgiving—are the perfect time to escape from the daily grind and spend quality time together passing on these traditions.
Of course, cooking for the Thanksgiving meal may also be a stressful time. Maybe you’ve been traveling all day or you’ve got a household of relatives to entertain. Or perhaps you’re just trying to get everything hot and ready at the same time and entertaining kids in the kitchen is the last thing on your mind.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to ask the kids to cook the meal from start to finish with you. You can invite them in to help out with one particular recipe or even invite them to sit at the kitchen table and chat with you while you cook. Then, you can occasionally give them tasks like tearing up sage for stuffing or adding the topping to the sweet potato casserole. They’ll be pleased to contribute to a meal the entire family will enjoy.
Here’s a few more tips on how kids can help out from The Kids Cook Monday:
Mashed Potato Hills
Orange Maple Cranberry Sauce
Honey Baked Apple Stacks
Lastly, don’t forget that the family bonding experience doesn’t end when the cooking is over! This year, instead of talking about work, school or politics, spark some meaningful conversations around the Thanksgiving table with one of these thought-provoking conversation starters that kids can ask their parents and grandparents:
- How did you celebrate Thanksgiving when you were growing up?
- What was mom/dad like when he/she was a kid? What was the craziest thing he/she ever did?
- What is the biggest difference between the time when you were growing up and now?
Happy Thanksgiving and happy cooking!