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Sponsored: Go “Mano a Mano” with a Weekly Family Cook-off

Not ready for another week of juggling rush hour, after-school activities, and breakneck slicing and dicing in order to get dinner on the table fast? We hear you. That’s why we love the idea of Manwich Monday, a slightly sloppy sandwich theme that’s easy, deliciously messy, and fun.

To make it even more of an occasion, consider turning the evening’s dinner prep into a family-friendly cook-off. Try these fun tips for combining Manwich Monday , with “Mano a Mano Monday.” By teaming up and going head to head with your kitchen creations, everyone will be saying “TGIM!” in no time.

  • Tune in together. Check your local television listings and get the family hooked on the latest set of kids’ culinary shows like MasterChef Junior and Man vs. Child: Chef Showdown. You can even find inspiration on the many kids’ cooking channels on YouTube, where pint-sized personalities just like them are getting dishy with it.
  • Choose teams in advance. The weekend prior is a good time to separate family members into teams so competitors can plan a Manwich recipe and purchase necessary ingredients.
  • Clarify who’s doing what. Nothing sours the mood quicker than foot-stomping cries of “My turn!” and “But I want to try!” It’s important to be clear about safety and age-appropriateness of certain tasks early-on, like Mom and Dad use the stove, big brother can chop carrots, you get the most important job of all: pouring the ingredients into the bowl—woo hoo! 
  • Include learning on the menu. Carefully chosen roles and responsibilities aside, talk to your kids as you perform various tasks, using the opportunity to teach basic kitchen safety and share your own cooking secrets.
  • Have a secret ballot. Ensure everyone’s team spirit stays intact by silently casting votes for the best Manwich recipe of the night. 
Quit dreading Monday dinner and start embracing the happy chaos of newfound family time! For more Monday-Funday meal ideas, check out our Messy Mondays blog series and visit Manwich.com.