Creative ways to enjoy family time

Between busy work schedules and endless extracurricular activities, fitting in quality mealtimes can be challenging for many families.

Cooking together is the perfect way to slow the pace. In addition to creating a bonding experience, family cooking also provides the benefit of developing essential life skills for your children.

For the Goodman family, life is as busy as ever with Scott (father) and Penny (mother) both having full-time jobs, Jake (son) being an influential actor and Tess (daughter) being a competitive gymnast. Regardless of how hectic life can be, the Goodmans have created a mealtime routine that accommodates the entire family.

“When we first started preparing family meals together, our goal was simply to help our children learn how to cook. It has evolved into so much more than that because it gives us the invaluable chance to enjoy each other’s company and connect as a family,” says Scott Goodman.

The biggest things that discourage parents from cooking with their children are time constraints. A survey of Ontario parents found that 77 per cent believed that they did not have enough time to share their cooking skills with their children. But research has shown that it doesn’t have to be time consuming.

These three tips from the Registered Dietitians at Dairy Farmers of Canada will help you start the year off right and get your kids cooking with you in the kitchen:

cooking in the kitchen
cooking in the kitchen

1. Let them know they’re welcome.

The next time you’re preparing a meal, ask your children to help. Don’t fret over mistakes or messes – consider it a learning experience for kids to experiment and understand food.

2. Start out simply.

It’s important to build your children’s confidence. Make cooking fun by getting them to try an activity that interests them or a step from their favourite meal.

3. Build their confidence.

Kids need to know that you trust them in the kitchen. Once they’ve mastered simpler tasks, give them more complex jobs so they stay motivated to continue cooking.

More information on cooking with kids, as well as easy nutritious recipes visit