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280 Kane St. STE #2
South Williamsport, PA
United States

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Prepare Meals Together as a Family

Last week I talked about the importance of talking with and being involved with your children and how that can make warning signs of child sexual abuse more obvious and help the child feel more comfortable coming to you if something isn’t right. So let’s talk about an easy way to have some family fun

Last week I talked about the importance of talking with and being involved with your children and how that can make warning signs of child sexual abuse more obvious and help the child feel more comfortable coming to you if something isn’t right.

So let’s talk about an easy way to have some family fun while also spending quality time together, that can help open the line of communications with your kids.

I am a big proponent of family dinners. I think it’s a fantastic way to spend time together while learning about and catching up with everyone’s days. But you can also have those moments while preparing dinner too! Cooking together can establish a no-pressure, safe space for conversation.

Children can learn quite a bit from cooking, as preparing recipes can fortify what they’ve been learning in school. Family cooking nights also pose a great opportunity to create lasting memories. Some of those treasured experiences can be enjoyed in the kitchen alongside mom and/or dad.

Added bonus, if you have a picky eater, cooking together as a family may make the little (or not so littles) less likely to complain about foods since they were involved in making it.

If you want to try cooking with the kids, here are some tips to make it a fun and bonding experience for the whole family.

Organize age-appropriate tasks. Little hands can only handle so much. A toddler can pour and stir ingredients, while an older child or teenager may be ready to chop ingredients or sauté at the stove.

Expect some mess. Parents and other adults should go into any meal creation process with children expecting things to get a tad messy. It may be possible to minimize messes by setting up workstations covered by plastic tablecloths which can be folded up and shaken into the trash. Encourage children to sit down so they don’t inadvertently spread any messes to another part of the house.

Begin with simple recipes. An initial foray into family cooking should involve a recipe that’s easy to prepare and perhaps doesn’t require too many ingredients. Build on each success after that, growing bolder with each subsequent recipe.

Make it a multi-generational experience. For many families, Sunday was the opportunity to gather at grandma’s house to check in and spend time together. Rekindle this tradition by hosting weekly or monthly family meals where everyone gets to take part in bringing the meal to the table.

Plan for things to take a little extra time. Preparation time is likely to take a bit longer when multiple hands are stirring the pot. Families can slow down and employ some patience. Adults should resist the urge to take over when children may not be doing things the right way. If meals need to be on the table at certain times, start an hour or two earlier than you otherwise would to account for some confusion and even a potential restart.

Eliminate as many distractions as possible. The kitchen may be the heart of the home, but it can be dangerous to be around knives and other cooking utensils and instruments. Distractions like televisions or phones can draw attention away and potentially lead to injuries from pots boiling over or children getting too close to hot flames.

Maybe it’s the Italian in me, but I believe that food is a great way to bring family together. So whether you are sharing a meal, making a meal together, enjoy the quality time!