Christmas is certainly a busy time for families, and while it can often be stressful for parents (the planning, the expenses, the seemingly countless days off school), it can be one of the most magical times of the year for your little ones. But while thoughts of Santa Claus and Christmas morning surprises might be at the forefront of their mind at this time of year, it’s likely you will find yourself far more pre-occupied thinking (or worrying) about the main event: The Christmas Dinner!
Christmas dinner can be a daunting and weighty task, and very often we can get too caught up in preparing the ‘perfect’ traditional trimmings, hoping they’re exactly like (or even better than) last year’s and the years before. This Christmas, why not shake things up and consider exploring some continental Christmas sides to go along with your main dish?
This could be a great opportunity to talk to your children about different cultures and traditions while asking them to help you research and plan which new dishes you want to try. Why not ask them to think about their friends in school and in the neighborhood. Encourage them to ask their friends about each of their Christmas traditions, where they originated and what their favourite traditions are. Talk to your children about your own favourite traditions and ask them what they love about this time of year. Perhaps use it as an opportunity to remind them about the importance of charity, friendship and looking out for one another all year round and why this is heightened at Christmas.
At Super Troopers we know the many benefits of cooking together as a family and encouraging your children to develop these important skills from an early age, but cooking and preparing dinner can also be an excellent time for your children to chat and learn about the world, especially when cooking meals traditional to different cultures.
Exploring Christmas in other countries
- Before you settle on your custom Christmas dish, why not take some time to learn about its history and discover some phrases native to the country, too.?
- Maybe you could play some Christmas music from there too for an extra festive feel.
- Ask your children to pick a place and tell you what they want to learn about that country.
- Chat about what you learned while you prepare your dish and remember, the most important thing is to have fun and be festive!
Super Troopers is a free health homework programme developed by Laya Healthcare that teaches children about leading a healthy balanced lifestyle by focusing on nutrition, wellbeing and physical activity. The programme encourages children to increase their activity levels by setting physical activity homework every night. The Super Troopers content team consists of teachers, psychologists, dietitians, wellbeing and physical activity experts. For more information go to supertroopers.ie