Family Theme Night Blog
Fun-filled family night activities based around themes kids love!
found the miso, now the question is will the kids eat it? planning the menu for our japanese family night
I just returned from the grocery store, after almost giving up on my menu. We are having a family night this weekend to remember Japan, and I had it in my head that I wanted to make miso soup—but I didn’t know what miso paste looks like! I spent what felt like an hour in the international food section of the grocery store, but I finally found it. Soon I will have my first experience making miso soup.
I’m not too worried about the preparation part. I’m pretty handy in the kitchen, and I love to try new recipes. However, I am concerned about the consumption part. Mainly, I’m concerned about the reaction of my young ones. We don’t have a very good track record when it comes to Japanese food. When they were young, we tried taking them to a hibachi grill style restaurant. Big mistake! My oldest was 2 ½, and he liked the food (it was before he entered his picky stage that lasted about five years). The problem was the fire. My youngest, then a baby, was startled by the fire and began to cry, and my 2 ½ year old ran from the table in fright. It was not a pretty scene.
I don’t plan on setting anything on fire this weekend. And my oldest is finally exiting his picky stage, and is developing a fairly diverse palate. My five year old, on the other hand, is in the throes of his picky stage. I don’t think he will be happy to see entirely new food. But I will make sure they are both good and hungry (new food always tastes better if you are hungry!), and perhaps they will be distracted enough by eating with chopsticks and sitting on the floor instead of in chairs (it is a family fun night after all!).
So the menu? Miso soup, stir fry and rice—simple and yummy (and I hope it is something they will eat!). More in my next blog!...
Whenever I complete one family fun night, I begin to think ahead to the next one. Right now, the thing on my mind is the crisis in Japan. The earthquakes, the tsunami, the nuclear crisis—it is all so tragic. Not exactly the makings of a family fun night! Or is it?
Besides having fun together and building strong family ties, I also want to teach my children compassion. And yet, it can be hard to develop compassion for a group of people so far away. However, what if they didn’t seem so far away? What if we learned more about the people of Japan? What if we began to save our pennies to send to them, and kept them in our thoughts and prayers? I think I do see the makings of another family night. It’s time for me to start looking for books, gathering recipes, and thinking of activities. It is time to plan a family night to remember the people of Japan!
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I tend to be a planner and a list maker, and I usually have our family nights all planned out. This afternoon we had a family fun time that was decidedly unplanned. It all started because the kitchen table had been overtaken by a painted fiery furnace (more on that in my next blog). I always seem to forget how long paint takes to dry, so when my boys were ready for an afternoon snack, I pulled out our TV tray tables. When I set them up in the kitchen, it immediately reminded the kids of the airplane family night we had a year ago. (For that family fun night we lined up chairs and TV tray tables in rows like an airplane, had a wagon snack cart, frozen dinner "airplane meals," in-air movie etc.—we used lots of ideas that are in my book Let the Adventure Begin: Theme Nights for Families With Young Children. See pictures below.)
checking the departure board AND pilot in flight (luggage in background)