A month into the stay-at-home orders from the COVID-19 pandemic, we, like most in the world, were schooling at home, eating at home, and trying to entertain ourselves at home. My friend, Mic, shared an idea of cooking iconic foods from each state across the country. I thought the idea of exploring the states through food was genius for so many reasons!
Passion for Cooking
Spending 24-hours a day, 7-days a week at home would make anyone go a bit stir crazy. One of my coping mechanisms was baking, and I needed a healthier way of letting out my creative energies. Since I was on a break from work, this was the perfect time to plan out 50 meals that would keep cooking fun for the next year!
With the stay-at-home orders in effect, Levi and Cora were doing their school assignments online. Quite frankly, this was boring for them, and most days were a rush to complete the assignments instead of really learning. I wanted to balance that with experiential learning without making it a chore for myself. This project allows them to practice math problems, and learn measurements, state history, and geography. We can't physically explore all of these states, but there is nothing stopping us from exploring the states virtually!
I researched the most iconic foods from each state. Then Levi and Cora reviewed the list with me and voted on what foods they most wanted to try. We came up with complete meals for most of the states! They are especially excited about the desserts and states like Illinois, where pizza is on the menu. But we have quite a few new dishes on our plan as well! I have an incredibly picky eater in my family, and she is not normally thrilled about trying new food. But being a part of planning the menu, preparing the food, and having this as an adventure of exploring the cultures of different states, makes her willing to at least give each dish a shot.
We are also enjoying the conversation that is happening around our dinner table during these meals. The kids are excited to share the facts that they learned while completing their coloring pages. They are asking questions about the history of the states and why certain foods are popular.
This has become a highlight of each week! Are you ready for an adventure? We hope you will join us in exploring the states through food. For all of the details on the dinners for each state that we have completed so far, bookmark this page: State Dinners and come back each Tuesday for the next state! You can also subscribe to our weekly newsletter for exclusive recipes, cooking tips, and the weekly menu plan delivered straight to your inbox!
Check out these awesome coloring pages! We use them as placemats for each state dinner!
Affiliate Disclaimer: I do love these coloring pages! We purchased them even before I decided to make this page, and I love the discussion that is generated from these fun facts! As an Amazon Affiliate, I get a small compensation when you purchase items from the Amazon links on my site, including these coloring pages. The price is the exact same for you whether you purchase through the link or outside of them. I do almost all of my non-grocery shopping from Amazon, so it just makes sense for me to be in partnership with them, and it helps me to earn a little extra income while doing something that I love. If you choose to purchase something through these links it is greatly appreciated!