Nikki Elkjer's family table

More than just food on the plate

Lately, my friends and family seem to start our conversations with “I know you’re busy, but. . . .” They’re right. As a working mother of three with a heart of service, I have a calendar filled to the brim. Sometimes, carving out family down time is hard.

But it’s important. That’s why as a professional chef and wellness advocate, I encourage my clients and subscribers to sit around the table with their loved ones, invite the kids into the kitchen, and open the door to neighbors and friends. Join me in putting away the unfinished paperwork, turning off the social media, and plugging into one another’s lives! Here are some ways to mix some down time with family time.

  • Ask your children or partner what kind of cooking activity they would like to try. Chinese? Pick out some brightly colored food boxes at the craft store, along with some chopsticks. What about breakfast for dinner? Have the kids sketch out silly shapes for you to make out of pancake batter.
  • Delegate a part of the dish’s preparation to each family member. This way everyone takes part in the preparation and works toward a common goal.
  • Pretend to put on a cooking show. Take turns sitting in the “audience” and asking questions. We enjoy using our best French accents when playing the part of host or hostess.
  • Do a blind tasting with boys against girls, or mom and dad against kids. Use brown lunch sacks to hide ingredients and have the taster reach in to choose one to try. Make sure to use the blindfold safely!



Pint-Size Pizzas

Honey Chicken Drumsticks

Sweet Potato Fries

Baked Cinnamon Apples

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