By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Family activity of the week: Cooking Thanksgiving meal together
You don't have to bear the entire burden of Thanksgiving dinner on your shoulders. Get the kids to help. - photo by Herb Scribner
Since its Thanksgiving, you may want to spend some time cooking with your family this week as a fun activity.

After all, cooking in the kitchen with your children can offer some benefits, according to Elaine Magee of WebMD. Cooking helps make children interested in trying healthy foods, teaches them lessons about completing tasks and achieving goals, and encourages youngsters to sit down at a family meal since theres something on the table theyve cooked, Magee explained.

It's true that including the kids in cooking meals requires time, patience and some extra clean-up, especially when the children are younger, Magee wrote. But many experts think it is well worth the effort.

Over the long term, cooking can also teach children the skills and recipes theyll need to cook throughout the rest of their lives, Magee explained, as well as build self-confidence.

Cooking can be different for all families, though, especially if parents have a particular way of doing things and dont want their children to hurt the cooking flow, Magee explained. Thats why its important to be supportive of a childs cooking, especially if they mess up on a recipe. And its good advice to constantly communicate with the child, so theyre always having fun in the kitchen.

Kids having fun in the kitchen, elbow to elbow, are likely to interact with each other and with their parents, Magee wrote. Cooking together gives parents and children time together to talk and share thoughts and stories.

Parents may also want to find some recipes that will be easy for children to follow, according to Bright Horizons, a family advice organization. Some recipes are simple enough that children can make meals on their own, too, like creating a turkey fruit platter, a pumpkin pie cup and turkey Thanksgiving snack bags.

Parenting magazine also has a list of meals children will not only enjoy eating but also could double as recipes for children to make in the kitchen, too.

Sign up for our E-Newsletters