End the Nightly Dinner Battle With a Kid-Friendly Menu Prep Station

Gather some supplies and create a space where your whole crew can be apart of the weekly meal-planning process.

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July 03, 2018
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Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Collab With the Kids

Finding an easy way to keep the family fed week after week isn't easy. Turn the task of planning meals into a family affair by dedicating a spot in your home to menu brainstorms.

What's Cooking?

Get those cookbooks out of the cabinets and down where kids can reach them. Older kids can peruse recipes that look interesting, while younger kids can find pictures of dishes they'd like to try. This is a fun way to get picky eaters out of their comfort zone.

Pint-Sized Table

A kids' play table is a great central spot to include. Add some colorful throw pillows, then invite the kids to sit down and flip through cookbooks to make suggestions for what they want to see on the menu.

Chalk It Up

Oversized chalk paint samples are the perfect size for daily dishes. Attach these to the wall, and use them to display the week's menu. By using these sample pieces, not only do you not have to do any messy painting, you'll also never have to answer the nightly question, "What's for dinner?"

Wall-Mounted Chalk

A handy chalk disc conveniently holds six different colors of chalk so everyone can write their favorite dish in their favorite color. The plastic holder is the perfect size for smaller hands. Simply add some adhesive hook and look tape, then attach to the wall (on their level).

Bright Lights

Battery-operated marquee lights add a lot of fun to the weekly menu wall.

Sign Me Up

Having an organized, dedicated menu-prep station that functions really well is obviously very important, but why not make it super fun and stylish, too? A trendy, metallic frame accents a wall covered in removable wallpaper.

Sunday Funday

Even with a well-organized system, someone still has to cook (or at least wash dishes). Let kids take turns choosing a special meal, like pizza or a restaurant night out, for Sunday Funday. Rotate who gets to choose the meal based on who helped clean the most dishes or who tried a new food (whatever motivates your family makes for a great incentive).

Grocery List

The key to well-organized meal planning is to have a system that's easy to follow. A dedicated clipboard for groceries ensures everyone in the family knows where to add something to the shopping list. On shopping day, simply pull the list down and you're ready to go.

Recipes to Try

Keep printouts of new recipes clipped to the wall so they're ready to grab when it's time to cook. This can be helpful when cross-referencing your shopping list, too. If the recipe is a winner, be sure to save it in a binder to use again.

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