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Family Dish Giveaway

by Laura

I was recently contacted by Unilever about their The Family Dish program. The Family Dish program is aimed at encouraging families to spend quality time together in the kitchen cooking together.   With the busy back-to-school season, they wanted to help increase quality family time together by providing me with some pantry staples to create a family-friendly dinner.

They sent me some products from Ragu, Hellmann’s/Best Foods, Lipton, Skippy, and Knorr.  They also sent me a recipe book with fun family cooking recipes.  I picked a menu from the cookbook and was able to utilize 4 of the 5 products they sent me.  Then I had a family get together to enjoy some fun in the kitchen.  I have shared all the recipes from the party over on my home page.  It was a hit with all.

For the main dish I used the pizza bagel recipe but with English muffins instead of bagels.  We all made our own mini pizzas.  This is something I enjoyed growing up.  My mom would frequently make these mini English muffin pizzas for a quick dinner.  We had a great assortment of toppings.  Everyone is able to customize their pizza and get involved in making dinner.
For our sides we had two easy dips, one for fruit and one for chips.  Both were simple and easy for the kids to do.  Both recipes only took 2 ingredients to make!
Finally, we finished with dessert.  I decided to take a recipe from the cookbook and turn it into my own.  I created gourmet peanut butter and chocolate cupcakes.  I don’t know very many kids who aren’t fans of peanut butter and chocolate.
We had a blast and everyone enjoyed all of the food.  My daughter even asked me if we could have a party like this each week.  I even have Fun Family Cooking cookbook to giveaway along with coupons for some free Skippy Peanut Butter, a Knorr Rice or Past Side , and Hellmann’s of Best Foods Mayonnaise.  To enter, leave a comment letting me know what you do to involve the family in cooking dinner.  You have until Wednesday November 3 at 10 pm (MST) to enter.
Disclosure: I was provided with a gift card, recipe book and free product for my participation.

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95 comments

Laura November 3, 2010 - 3:37 pm

My three year old son loves to climb up on the counters & help me cook dinner each night. From measuring out ingredients and pouring them into a bowl to stirring and mixing and preparing, he is involved in just about every dinner we make. Because he’s involved in the cooking, he’s more likely eat the food when it’s time. And he’s always so proud to show daddy when he gets home from work what we made.

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Jennifer November 3, 2010 - 9:25 am

I let my 2 boys choose what we have for dinner. They then have to help in some way. My 8 year old really likes to help cook. He loves to make desert.

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Amy November 2, 2010 - 9:36 pm

my husband works out of state so we only get to have family dinner twice a week. We rotate favorite dishes and all 9 of us help in the kitchen from simple things like the little ones getting to stir and the older ones cooking one whole dish themselves. Family dinner is one of the most important things in our house.

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Dezi A November 2, 2010 - 9:34 pm

I have a drawer with some cooking utensils my son can use and whenever he notices me cooking, he’ll grab out his utensils, drag a stool over, and start “helping” me cook.

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Michelle Leichty November 2, 2010 - 5:47 pm

I let my small sons measure, pour, and stir. They love it!

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Leah November 2, 2010 - 2:45 pm

I try my hardest to not care about the mess and then let my kids help. It was hard at first dealing with the mess they make, but now they are SO helpful in the kitchen!

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Cindi November 2, 2010 - 1:57 pm

When my boys were growing up, I tried to let them help with the cooking depending on how old they were and their level of experience. Sometimes it was simply setting the table…..but they felt as if they contributed!

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Jackie November 2, 2010 - 1:07 pm

My husband is the best chopper and my son does a great job licking spoons when I’m making anything sweet. 🙂

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rette5991 November 2, 2010 - 12:16 pm

My fiancee and I dont really work so well together in the kitchen-we clash too much. But he always enjoys licking the spoons and eating whatever I create, and I enjoy eating all the yummy things he makes too!

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Yaya Cheryl November 2, 2010 - 9:38 am

when my kids were little they would pour and stir a lot

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Cheryl S. November 2, 2010 - 6:59 am

My ittle girl is 5 and loves helping me in the kitchen. I let her do lots of pouring and mixing!

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Becky B November 1, 2010 - 11:16 pm

My son is too young to help me cook but he loves it when I hold him on my side and cook. I can’t wait until he can help out. It will be fun!

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cwaltz November 1, 2010 - 9:46 pm

In my household everyone helps with cooking whether it be chopping or pouring or mixing, everyone helps.
Christine
[email protected]

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Caitlin (EatFeats) November 1, 2010 - 9:00 pm

I’m away from my family, so my best friend and I get together once a week for a themed dinner. We plan a theme, purchase ingredients, and make dishes together. Our “family time” makes us feel a little bit more at home.

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kathy steadman November 1, 2010 - 5:18 pm

I let the little ones tear lettuce, set table, grate cheese. And my older ones get to be my chef assistants…they love to chop and dice.

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Lydia November 1, 2010 - 3:44 pm

My family definitely contributes in the eating portion of the evening. But I think more important than cooking together, we sit down and eat together. My kids are still very young so I prefer to having cooking time be “me time,” when I can get it!

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Danyelle November 1, 2010 - 1:24 pm

I have everyone contribute ideas toward the meal plan.

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Suzie November 1, 2010 - 11:29 am

Let them try everything there isn’t a mess that can’t be cleaned up! Lick the spoons and have fun! They will grow up to love to cook and love you!!

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Elaine November 1, 2010 - 10:59 am

I give everyone a little part!

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Celeste November 1, 2010 - 10:47 am

My 4-year-old daughter wants to help with everything in the kitchen. She stirs, pours and talks and talks and talks. I love it. Thank you

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Tammmy November 1, 2010 - 10:44 am

I have the kids help plan what we are having and they help with the prep as age appropriate.

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Annie November 1, 2010 - 10:31 am

My husband and son don’t really enjoy the cooking part of family meals, but they are great about helping clean up. I am thankful for that!

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mom4me November 1, 2010 - 10:01 am

My girls are 2 and 3 and they love to help in the kitchen. We always have something for them to pour in or stir up when making our meals together. I hope to pass on my love of cooking to them!

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Merrianne November 1, 2010 - 9:53 am

I’m definitely entering this giveaway 🙂
I love cooking and baking.. and I really love getting the kids & my husband involved. We turn off the TV, the phones, & the computer and set up a little Assembly Line in the kitchen so we are all lined up, elbow to elbow, having a great time getting the meal prepared–uninterrupted. Then, of course, we eat together. 🙂 I love Dinner Time 🙂

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Jane November 1, 2010 - 9:52 am

My son really likes to help cook. My oldest daughter doesn’t really like to help. I let them do whatever they can and still be safe. I try to make the experience fun for them and help them learn. It is a great way to get them to learn measurements and counting.

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Katrina November 1, 2010 - 9:45 am

I try to include my kid with menu planning.My son is taking a “foods” class at school and he likes to try out some of his new recipes for us.

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The Royal Cook November 1, 2010 - 9:07 am

I wish I had a tip for keeping the kids away while I was cooking! 😉 My kids love to help out in the kitchen. I let them stir what ever I am making, or add the ingredients.

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Carolyn November 1, 2010 - 9:00 am

We try to meal plan as a family and have theme nights that the kids can help pick out and also help with the prep work

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Carolyn November 1, 2010 - 8:49 am

My daughter helps by setting the table, making the tea and sometimes stirring or adding ingredients.

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Ann November 1, 2010 - 8:19 am

my 3 year old would much rather play in the sink an “Do” the dishes while I am cooking… which actually works out great! Keeps us both entertained!

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Christy November 1, 2010 - 8:03 am

I have two littel helpers~my daughters, and every night, they switch off duties. One night one will set the table while the other assists me with the meal and vice versa.

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Danielle November 1, 2010 - 7:58 am

My 3-year old has always loved helping out in the kitchen. We pull a chair up to the edge of the counter so he can help put things in bowls and other non-complicated things. He ends up trying just about everything and is a great eater because of it!

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Jenny November 1, 2010 - 4:35 am

My youngest son loves to make dessert- so he helps with that. Hubby and the other boy often help plan menus for the week and, now that they’re older, they boys often help dad with the cooking on his 2 nights per week!

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scott schluter November 1, 2010 - 3:56 am

Each child gets to pick a meal to have during the week with the deal being that they have to help prepare it. While making the dinner, we talk about the nutrition in the meal they chose.

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Emily O. October 31, 2010 - 11:21 pm

My 10 year old daughter loves to chop the veggies. My13 year old daughter helps by stirring the food or prep work. Still trying to get my 8 year old son involved by giving him small things to do around the kitchen even if it’s opening a can of food he feels involved.

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Shelly October 31, 2010 - 11:02 pm

My children love to help by cracking eggs and peeling vegetables. They are good to help out if I ask them. I ask each of them to help choose the meals for the week.

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Kim October 31, 2010 - 10:55 pm

I try to let my kids help take turns with making dinner. Sometimes I do well at it, but other times I’m just not patient enough. I really need to do better though! They love helping me, and it’s a good thing for them to learn.

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THERESA EPPS October 31, 2010 - 10:46 pm

MY BOYS GET TO PICK WHAT THEY WANT FOR DINNER ON WEEK-ENDS AND THEY GET TO HELP PREPARE IT.AFTERWARDS THEY EACH SHARE IN THE CLEANING UP, SO MOMMY HAS IT EASY.

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Allison October 31, 2010 - 10:36 pm

My kids each choose 1 dinner a week that they want, and help make that meal (cut veggies with kid-safe knives, measuring, crack eggs, etc.) I LOVE cooking with my kiddos!

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stacey October 31, 2010 - 9:31 pm

I let my kids help me get things out of the fridge when the time comes, or they like to help stir and measure things. All it takes is a little patience and maybe a couple extra minutes to let them do their helping, and the benefits are huge!

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Amy L October 31, 2010 - 9:18 pm

My boys love to come help in the kitchen. They stir, pour, stir, dump, spill, taste, stir, and pour some more. They like to do anything I will let them do.

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Jess October 31, 2010 - 8:48 pm

My son and daughter LOVE to help (a.k.a. be wherever mommy is) in the kitchen. Being 2 and 1- stirring and tasting are their best jobs! 🙂

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Felicia October 31, 2010 - 7:56 pm

My son’s only 2, but he wants to know what I’m doing when I cook. He loves to stir and add ingredients together.

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Lethea Benson October 31, 2010 - 7:28 pm

I welcome my whole family into the kitchen & offer them a chance to just get in there themselves(my kiddos are older and can be trusted!) any time they want and I’d be happy to help them if they’d like my help=)
Sometimes they help prepare the salad while I cook the main dish, sometimes they slice bread or dish up the veggies. Cooking should be fun for everyone!

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Jenny October 31, 2010 - 7:25 pm

It’s just my husband and I, but we enjoying being in the kitchen together. Even if I’m the one doing the cooking! We love the time to takl.

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Brooke October 31, 2010 - 7:01 pm

My kids absolutely love to help with anything I let them when it comes to making dinner. Their favorite thing to do is turn on the oven light and watch the food cook. It’s too cute, seeing them sitting there checking on the food.

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Kim October 31, 2010 - 7:00 pm

Involving the kids is something I need to work on. I have them set the table every night, and then help clear the table so that we are working together to get dinner.

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TrishInFL October 31, 2010 - 6:13 pm

My two and a half year old daughter loves helping me by setting the table and carrying the salads to the table!

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Katie October 31, 2010 - 6:11 pm

I let them help me with meal planning. It’s great because I know they will eat what I make.

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Marianne October 31, 2010 - 5:50 pm

One of my daughters will usually set the table and then the other one clears. Then they both take turns helping with dishwashing and dishwasher loading. My older daughter (age 14) is starting to take a real interest in cooking and loves to make oatmeal raisin cookies and has even prepared a few gourmet meals for us, including homemade pasta and a delicious Barefoot Contessa stuffed chicken recipe.

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Tracie Trump October 31, 2010 - 5:38 pm

Each chooses one night to cook their personal favorites! [email protected]

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Kim October 31, 2010 - 5:20 pm

We have chore charts at our house, and one of the chores we rotate is being the “Kitchen Assistant.” That child helps mom make dinner from start to finish. I’ve found it makes my kids more apt to try new things if they’ve helped put it together! I also have a list of meals that the kids look through and help pick out things that go on the menu plan for the week. Great giveaway! 🙂

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Debbie P October 31, 2010 - 5:08 pm

My kids are too little to help cook dinner with me, but I usually ask for their input on what to make for dinner. If they have a say in it, they’re more likely to eat it! 🙂

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Mags October 31, 2010 - 4:55 pm

This week I’m teaching my daughter how to make homemade noodles and pasta (wish me luck…lol)

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Mallory S. October 31, 2010 - 4:38 pm

We take turns picking what to make, dividing cooking duties, and cleanup. It’s fun looking through cooking blogs and recipe books to find new things we haven’t tried before!

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Angie S. October 31, 2010 - 3:42 pm

I let the kids help pick out what they want, which is sometimes different than what the husband and I actually eat.

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mandy October 31, 2010 - 3:36 pm

I try to let my two-year-old help by putting things in the bowl. He loves to help make his oatmeal in the morning by pushing the button on the microwave!

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Tara October 31, 2010 - 3:29 pm

My kids love to help me in the kitchen. I think kneading dough is their favorite thing to do. They’re also great at setting the table and loading the dishwasher!

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Carol O October 31, 2010 - 2:20 pm

I let them pour and stir, help set and clean up! All is part of the dinner process!

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Kimberly October 31, 2010 - 12:26 pm

My kids love to help in the kitchen. Especially the little ones. Somehow they think it is fun to play with measuring cups and spoons. They love to pour in ingredients. They also like to stir, or roll balls of dough – lots of things they can do in the kitchen. Even the 2 year old drags a stool over to where I’m cooking to see what I’m doing and if he can help.

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Whitney October 31, 2010 - 11:32 am

We always have a couple of stools in the kitchen for the kids to help. Even the 2 year old loves to climb up and stir. We also like to make things we can all pick our toppings on. Like your pizza, and also hawaiian haystacks. Then everyone’s happy!

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Amanda D October 31, 2010 - 11:09 am

I’m afraid that I don’t let my kids help me much in the kitchen. This is something that I am constantly working on changing because I know that it is good for them. They do make their own lunches, and help with cookies sometimes.

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Kathy P. October 31, 2010 - 11:03 am

I love it when my kids want to help me make food whether it is adding ingredients or helping me prepare the ingredients. They already love to try unusual foods because they actually get to see it being made rather than just put in front of them on plate. It has inpsired me to teach a cooking class at our Y to preschoolers to help them learn too.

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Donnie October 31, 2010 - 10:46 am

Since it’s only my husband and I here for the winter we don’t have family gatherings but when a friend or two come for dinner or usually brunch we all chip in to help ease the chores. The men will usually do the dishes too.

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Jessie October 31, 2010 - 10:42 am

I let my daughter help by adding ingredients and helping to stir. It requires a bit of extra patience on my part, but we enjoy cooking together.

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Tashie October 31, 2010 - 10:41 am

My children love to help me cook. The like to use the food chopper or the slicer to help cut up veggies or fruit. We are working on reading recipes and then measuring out the needed ingredients. It takes a lot of work but it is worth it. They love it!!

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Tashie October 31, 2010 - 10:40 am

My kids love to help me chop up different things with our food chopper or slicer. They love to make cookies, and we are working on measuring and reading the different recipes. It is a lot of work to involve them but it is so worth it! They love it!

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Jennifer R October 31, 2010 - 10:05 am

Since it is just me and my 10 month old I bring her in the kitchen in her walker and let her watch what i’m doing to help get her involved.

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Jennifer R October 31, 2010 - 10:05 am

Since it is just me and my 10 month old I bring her in the kitchen in her walker and let her watch what i’m doing to help get her involved.

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Angie Martinez October 31, 2010 - 9:58 am

My husband will help me with cleanup like washing dishes while I’m cooking. It gives us a chance to talk about our days at work while in the kitchen!

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Angie Martinez October 31, 2010 - 9:58 am

My husband will help me with cleanup like washing dishes while I’m cooking. It gives us a chance to talk about our days at work while in the kitchen!

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Tracy October 31, 2010 - 8:58 am

I let my 2 yr old stand on a step ladder and “help” make dinner. It is fun and keeps him busy during that dreaded 5:00 grumpy hour.

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Tracy October 31, 2010 - 8:58 am

I let my 2 yr old stand on a step ladder and “help” make dinner. It is fun and keeps him busy during that dreaded 5:00 grumpy hour.

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Amy L October 31, 2010 - 8:56 am

My 2 year old loves to watch me cook. he is just starting to get involved pouring simple ingredients and helping to stir!

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Amy L October 31, 2010 - 8:56 am

My 2 year old loves to watch me cook. he is just starting to get involved pouring simple ingredients and helping to stir!

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Tami Warner October 31, 2010 - 8:49 am

My kids LOVE to help me in the kitchen. But what makes our meals special is what we do at the dinner table. Every night as we sit down to dinner we talk about our day. Everyone tells about their favorite part of the day. And if they want to talk about the worst part of their day that’s ok too. It’s a fun tradition and brings us closer together.

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Tami Warner October 31, 2010 - 8:49 am

My kids LOVE to help me in the kitchen. But what makes our meals special is what we do at the dinner table. Every night as we sit down to dinner we talk about our day. Everyone tells about their favorite part of the day. And if they want to talk about the worst part of their day that’s ok too. It’s a fun tradition and brings us closer together.

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Chelsea Rowley October 31, 2010 - 8:42 am

My little nugget in only a year old so he does a good job coaching from the sideline. He occasionally mixes things, and he loves to “clean up” with a rag afterwards.

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Chelsea Rowley October 31, 2010 - 8:42 am

My little nugget in only a year old so he does a good job coaching from the sideline. He occasionally mixes things, and he loves to “clean up” with a rag afterwards.

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cindy harris October 31, 2010 - 8:40 am

Five of our six children are married. The last is a busy college student playing baseball for UVU. He gets home from practice about 7:30–he is hungry! So hubby and I wait till he gets home to have our ‘family dinner’.
When our children were all home dinner was not to be missed, good food, lots of conversation and plenty of love!

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cindy harris October 31, 2010 - 8:40 am

Five of our six children are married. The last is a busy college student playing baseball for UVU. He gets home from practice about 7:30–he is hungry! So hubby and I wait till he gets home to have our ‘family dinner’.
When our children were all home dinner was not to be missed, good food, lots of conversation and plenty of love!

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Lori W. October 31, 2010 - 8:25 am

I let my kids help me plan my menu, set the table, and clear the table. When they get older I plan on them helping out a lot more. Thanks for the giveaway.

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Lori W. October 31, 2010 - 8:25 am

I let my kids help me plan my menu, set the table, and clear the table. When they get older I plan on them helping out a lot more. Thanks for the giveaway.

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Jan C October 31, 2010 - 8:02 am

I love to have the grandkids help me set the table. They love to come and eat at grandma’s house!!!!!!
When my kids were home, we all took turns with the whole meal. My boys are actually very good cooks. They love to cook for their families now.

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Jan C October 31, 2010 - 8:02 am

I love to have the grandkids help me set the table. They love to come and eat at grandma’s house!!!!!!
When my kids were home, we all took turns with the whole meal. My boys are actually very good cooks. They love to cook for their families now.

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Whitney October 31, 2010 - 7:03 am

My children are only 2 & 4, but they love to “help ” in the lichen every chance they get. The 4 year old likes to chop soft foods with a plastic knife, the 2 year old likes to put the silverware on the table, and they love to help knead dough.

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Whitney October 31, 2010 - 7:03 am

My children are only 2 & 4, but they love to “help ” in the lichen every chance they get. The 4 year old likes to chop soft foods with a plastic knife, the 2 year old likes to put the silverware on the table, and they love to help knead dough.

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Theresa October 31, 2010 - 6:34 am

All of my children take turns helping to prepare dinner. Now that they are getting older, I would like to have them help me come up with the dinner menus.

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Theresa October 31, 2010 - 6:34 am

All of my children take turns helping to prepare dinner. Now that they are getting older, I would like to have them help me come up with the dinner menus.

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michelle October 31, 2010 - 6:28 am

my daughter (age 16) loves mexican food..and is a wonderful chef when it comes to making things like loaded nachos and quesadillas…and so she will often volunteer to make dinner….and we have always found it to to be lots of fun baking together..especially at the holidays …our family also grocery shops together…which is a great way to involve everyone in meal planning…

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michelle October 31, 2010 - 6:28 am

my daughter (age 16) loves mexican food..and is a wonderful chef when it comes to making things like loaded nachos and quesadillas…and so she will often volunteer to make dinner….and we have always found it to to be lots of fun baking together..especially at the holidays …our family also grocery shops together…which is a great way to involve everyone in meal planning…

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Sarah October 31, 2010 - 6:28 am

As my children have gotten older, they have begun to pick out the menu and help make the dinner of their choice. The part everyone hates the most is the clean up!

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Sarah October 31, 2010 - 6:28 am

As my children have gotten older, they have begun to pick out the menu and help make the dinner of their choice. The part everyone hates the most is the clean up!

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Chris M. October 31, 2010 - 6:22 am

I like to allow everyone a chance to help out by dividing up the prep work for things like the vegetables and dessert. Thanks for the giveaway

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Chris M. October 31, 2010 - 6:22 am

I like to allow everyone a chance to help out by dividing up the prep work for things like the vegetables and dessert. Thanks for the giveaway

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