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Tip of the Week

Family Chef Challenge

Is your family into watching cooking shows on TV? Make a family chef’s challenge. It will take some planning, but the pay-off won’t only be quality family time, you’ll be providing an opportunity to learn new skills along the path of launching into adulthood. Try this:

  1. Have a family meeting to create your challenge; you need to decide: will you have teams, a single dish or an entire meal, will you have a budget and/or set number of ingredients, who will judge the outcome—maybe invite grandparents to play that role—and what will the prize be (bragging rights or something more substantial like choosing where to family goes out to celebrate) and lastly, don’t forget to include clean-up as part of the event!
  2. Consider documenting the challenge on social media; a fun way to share with friends and family and to celebrate everyone’s culinary creativity.
  3. Let the games begin and bring your appetites.
  4. When it’s over, don’t forget to keep everyone’s kitchen skills sharp. You can put your middle-schooler in charge of the weekly grocery list; send your high school driver to the grocery store; put your younger kids in charge of putting away groceries.

When it’s all over, don’t stop there, maybe institute kids’ night, when the younger generation is in charge of dinner one night a week, from soup to nuts, that is from menu planning, shopping, cooking and clean up.

You’ll not only be giving your children life skills and you’ll be sharing the responsibility, taking some pressure of yourself. Plus, once you’ve done this once, you’ve started to build in the expectation of everyone in the family having responsibilities and tasks to do to keep the family and household humming along.

Supporting Parents of Essex County, NJ is a website sponsored by the COPE Center, that offers Essex County, NJ families a comprehensive source of information about events, programs, and resources. Focusing on local resources, we are families’ first stop to find up-to-date parenting advice, the go-to website to find parenting works and programs that parents need to navigate the challenges of twenty-first century parents in a world where we are bombarded with information. You can have confidence that the Supporting Parents of Essex County, NJ website will lead you to information that helps you make the most of family life.