Catching up with your kids at the end of a busy day is a lot more fun with a delicious meal waiting to be shared (especially if it’s sticky chicken wings).
We think it's even more special when you can cook a meal together. So get your kids involved in the kitchen. It doesn’t matter how old they are—the little ones can help crumble soft cheese (feta, for example), grease a baking pan, or pick herbs from the stem. They can also help rinse fresh produce and whisk a salad dressing. Older kids (8 and above) can do more, from cracking eggs and grating cheese to helping you shell shrimp.
Granted, it may take longer to get dinner on the table, but the joys of bonding with your children over simple tasks—like rolling meatballs—will make for beautiful memories.
Here are some of our favorite family recipes. Our family boxes can feed 2 adults and 2 young children. They start at $8.70 per portion, with options to cook two, three, or four times a week.
There’s nothing we like more than hands-free cooking and this recipe is a fine example. Chop two things, stir together the rest with a bit of broth, and stick it in the oven. Tossed with melted butter, the fillo topping gets golden and crunchy, while the orzo mixture underneath cooks up creamy and tender, no pre-cooking required. Kids can help crumble feta cheese and combine ingredients in mixing bowls.
This meal is a true stunner. Tender, springy, buttered noodles curling around slivers of scallions. Shrimp on skewers, crusted with sesame seeds that turn deep golden in a hot pan. A side of brilliant green silky spinach. Kids can help thread shrimp onto the skewers and cover them with sesame seeds.
Full of fresh ginger, scallions and garlic, they get brushed with ponzu—a citrus seasoned soy sauce—when hot from the broiler. While they roast, broccolini browns alongside then gets tossed with a combination of miso and butter for a savory silky coating. Sushi rice is a pleasantly sticky accompaniment. Kids can help make the meatballs. Make sure to put a little oil on their palms before rolling to prevent messy, sticky hands.
Baked in the oven with mozzarella until bubbly and golden and then topped with fresh basil, this pasta dish is a crowd-pleaser. Don’t forget the simple but sensational salad, lightly dressed with a lemon vinaigrette. Kids can help remove basil leaves from the stems and separate lettuce leaves.
These chicken patties are filled with flavor, texture and color: softened and slightly sweet onions, sautéed spinach and chunks of feta. Kids can help crumble feta cheese and remove leaves from dill sprigs. They can also help form the patties.
We topped one of our favorite pocketless pitas with a spiced lamb mixture and let a hot oven do all the work. Topped with seasoned yogurt, feta and some lemony greens, this is a 20 minute winner. Kids can help combine the salad mix and pick mint leaves from the stems.