53% of Americans consider themselves to be a foodie, according to one study conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Eventbrite. For foodies who wish to share their love and passion for food with their families, however, doing so successfully can be a major undertaking — especially if you have a household of picky eaters or busy schedules filled with work and school. From the benefits of simply sitting down as a family at mealtimes to ways you can get everyone involved in the kitchen, here are just a few ways you can actively cultivate a love for food in your household.
Creating memories by cooking together
While some foodies may enjoy cooking alone, those who wish to share their love of food with their family can do just that by cooking together. Not only will this allow you to get your kids actively involved with food as a family, but getting in the kitchen together can present the perfect bonding activity as well — whether you’re baking Christmas cookies or frying up a Saturday morning breakfast. That said, putting together a family cookbook and passing down your favorite recipes is a fantastic way to cultivate a food-loving family, and can get your family excited about trying new things — or finding a new favorite recipe.
For those who are planning on getting their kids into the kitchen for the first time, having the right tools in the kitchen will ensure that cooking together is a safe and fun experience for everyone. For instance, if you’re comfortable with your child handling knives, having a kid-friendly knife kit on hand (such as a mini knife with finger guards) can be ideal in preventing any accidents. Similarly, having smaller cooking tools available — such as a mini whisk and kid-sized oven mitts — will further help to ensure your child is actively involved, safe, and comfortable throughout the cooking process.
The benefits of family meal time
For families who are able to sit around the table and enjoy a meal together on a regular basis, the benefits go much further than simply sharing a meal. In fact, teens who frequently eat with their families are half as likely to smoke or use marijuana than those who rarely have family dinners, according to researchers at the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. When it comes to sharing your love of food, sitting down together as a family allows for the unique opportunity to bring your favorite meals to everyone at the table, while connecting after a busy day of school or work. As such, this can make for the perfect way to introduce your family to new foods and recipes, all the while implementing new mealtime traditions.
Trying new things
For those who have regular family dinners already and would like to try something new to further share your passion for food, trying new things — such as meal planning together — can be a great way to spark some interest in mealtime among family members. This can easily be achieved by taking one day out of the week to sit down as a family, and planning out meals for the upcoming week. With that in mind, staying open to suggestions/feedback or even letting each family member pick out a meal for a day out of the week can be ideal ways to keep mealtimes interesting. To spice things up even more, making it a point to try out new foods together by dedicating a night or two each week to doing so can be a great idea, too, and can help in exploring new cuisines regularly.
Getting your family members equally as passionate about food as you are can be challenging, though isn’t impossible. Through actively cooking together, sitting down to eat as a family, and trying new things, you can help cultivate a healthy love of food within your household in no time at all.