Every family should make an effort to have special dinners together. Each day, while stuck at home during this quarantine may seem like a drag at times. But, remember it’s the least you can do to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. That doesn’t mean you can’t have special family nights anymore. Whether it’s Friday or Saturday nights — it’s great to make dinner a grand event that your kids can really look forward to. These are 5 Ways to Make Family Dinners Special while Quarantined.
1. Bake a Box-Mix Dessert with Your Kids
Cooking together is a wonderful family activity, and one of those things that children never forget. The single best way to make a shared cooking experience and family dinner really special is to make dessert. Especially in families where dessert is not a normal part of the dinner experience.
You don’t have to break the bank on a special cake or expensive ingredients to make something sweet that the family will love. Instead, a box-mix or two and let your kids help you mix the ingredients. They will love the sensation of cracking eggs, stirring batter, pouring into the pan, and watching the cake rise.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with the low-cost box-mix ingredients. Puddings, no-bake cheesecakes, and even fruit tarts with low-priced seasonal fruit are all within the bounds of your budget. And your kids will feel the night is truly special when they proudly serve and enjoy the dessert they helped to make.
2. Super Grilled Sandwich Night
You don’t even need fancy foods to make a dinner night special with the family. Instead of cooking something unusual, make the dinner format unusual instead! One option is a super grilled sandwich night. Invite everyone in the family to put together their favorite grilled sandwich ingredients from the fridge and pantry, then fire up the frying pans and make everyone the toasty melt of their choice.
The grilled sandwich night is a lot like DIY stir-fry, only you don’t have to spend an hour chopping veggie or invest in extra cuts of lean meat. Instead, the same ingredients you use for lunches and snacks can turn into a fantastic personalized and shared family dinner.
3. Dinner-and-Movie Night
Another option is to make eating circumstances special and fun. Movie night is a new and exciting experience if the family usually eats together at the kitchen table. Make it a big event by planning the movie you’ll watch, either something new and exciting or an old favorite loved by the whole family. Then dim the lights, set up your viewing area, and give your kids a choice of recipes from your usual family dinner selection.
Your kids will love the home movie-tavern experience, and you can all enjoy a big bowl of popcorn (and maybe some ice cream) for dessert.
4. The Empty-Pantry Recipe Challenge
Want to make the night fun and clear out a bunch of old under-used ingredients from your pantry? Employ your children’s creative abilities and dare them to take on the empty-pantry recipe challenge. Pull out everything you haven’t cooked in over a month and put it on the kitchen table. Then try to come up with a delicious family dinner mostly using those under-appreciated family ingredients.
Not only is the challenge a fun family adventure, but you also won’t be spending a single extra dollar on a special family meal.
5. Breakfast for Dinner
Making dinner special is all about changing up the routine, including switching around when special recipes are deemed appropriate. Instead of focusing on dinner items, have breakfast for dinner! For once, you have plenty of time to make pancakes, french toast, eggy bacon sandwiches, or delicious omelets.
Your kids will love the novelty of eating breakfast foods at night, and you can share the cooking experience by teaching your children how to make their favorite breakfast recipes.
When restaurants are not an option these are some of the many ways to enjoy special family dinners with your kids. When you’re building that family bond and want to make one shared night a week something special, get creative! Use what groceries you have to turn a normal family dinner into a real treat.
Don’t miss the homesteader’s guide to social distancing.