You love your grandchildren. But how often do you spend time with them? If rare, perhaps, you should consider hosting dinner nights to spend more time with them. You don’t want to be that grandparent who goes for days or even months without seeing their grandkids.
Whether they live near you or far away, it is always a good idea to find time to spend with grandkids. Dinner with grandkids has a host of benefits, ranging from family bonding to creating great memories. Besides, mealtime may be the only time you will get all your grandkids in one place to hold meaningful conversations.
Hosting a family dinner can be stressful, especially if it’s been long since you interacted with your grandkids. You may not be aware of what food they like now that they are grown, what kind of appetizer they prefer, or the sort of drinks they prefer.
These and many other things may make you have a hard time figuring out what kind of meals to prepare. Fortunately, this post highlights a few practical tips to help you achieve perfect dinner nights with your grandkids if you want it to become a routine.
Preparation is Key
It would help if you had a detailed plan of what needs to be done before, during and after the dinner session. And depending on the number of grandkids you have, you will have to do some grocery shopping and other kinds of preparations. Here are a few things to look into:
Go Grocery Shopping
Grandparents should make healthy and wise food choices for their grandkids to ensure they are more than healthy. While parents may offer their kids whatever they want, having your grandkids over for dinner gives you the perfect opportunity to prepare meals that will boost their immune systems.
With this, ensure you buy food products to cook healthy and nutritious meals. Ensure you include plant-based protein such as lentils and beans and be keen on the fibre intake. Consider foods that will boost their iron, such as broccoli, chickpeas, and don’t forget about the fruits to boost their vitamin intake.
Yes, the kids may not get impressed with such meals, but such foods are not only tasty but nutritious and healthy.
Clean the Kitchen
The next thing to focus on is cleaning the kitchen. Keep the icky stuff out of the kitchen to prepare and cook the meals without wasting time. Don’t forget to wash all the utensils you will use, such as knives, cutting boards and pots.
Here is where your meal preparation comes into play. Give yourself ample time to prep all the food you will cook without haste if you want pleasing results. Do any slicing or chopping before you begin to cook your meals. Note down the specific meals you will cook and have a list of recipes to guide you. You can then start your cooking.
Ensure you cook all meals accordingly by knowing what to simmer, cook in the oven or warm in the microwave. You can then relax for a while but not too long and don’t forget to check on what is ready.
Set Up the Table
This is another great tip to help you achieve the perfect dinner nights. You cannot underestimate the essence of a good table setup. Especially if you are having the kids’ parents over, you ought to ensure you set up the tables in style. The table setup may be complicated as you want to ensure you have all the right tableware for kids in place.
A more modern approach may be having the adults dine on one side while the kids on the other. It will be much easier to set up everything. On the adult’s side, use restaurant quality napkins to make a good impression. You can also choose linens that complement the whole setup.
On the kid’s side, have all the proper tableware such as kid’s napkins, tiny spoons, cups and plates and more. Use beautiful flowers as the centrepiece and lighten up the room with candles.
Get a Caterer to Cook Your Food
Sometimes, you don’t have to do everything by yourself. Rather than spending your time in the kitchen cooking all sorts of meals that can quickly wear you out, it would help if you considered getting help. Research and hire the best caterer in your city who is conversant with kid’s meals.
They know what kind of food kids prefer and how to correctly prepare the meal. Check-in with your grandkids’ parents to know what type of food, drinks and appetizers they like and have the caterer prepare it. You may not be aware of the current food trends for kids, and this is where a professional caterer comes in.
It Doesn’t Have to be in Your Home
There is no problem sticking to the old traditional way of having dinner at home with a family, and you will never get tired of this as it will always be in style. However, you can make things more interesting by going out for dinner with all your grandchildren.
Sure, it will be messy and expensive; however, you can achieve the perfect dinner night with the proper research and preparation. Kids are loud and will probably be everywhere in the hotel. You can research hotels with large patios and make reservations. Also, know which hotels offer kids discounts and take advantage of that.
Always Have After-Dinner Activities
It is always a good idea to have your grandkids spend the night at your place after dinner. After eating, they may be too tired to have to go back to their parents’ home. Besides, almost every kid wishes to have their grandparents tell them a bedtime story.
So, after dinner, before going to bed, have a list of activities to engage in. This could be kid’s games, watching a kid’s movie, or telling a story. Ensure the activities will be fun and enjoyable as kids tend to get bored quickly. This may make them want to visit you more often.
Embark on the beauty of dining with your grandkids by considering the above points. However, note that whatever may work in a given period may fail in the next. Therefore, ensure you always find ways to make all the dinner nights enjoyable!