HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Don't bite Off More Than you can Chew
Bringing dinner back to the family table
Leave the house at 7:30 for school drop-off and head to work. Pick up the kids at school after work, head back to work with the kids, rush off to drop Daughter #2 at soccer or softball practice, and head to cross country with Daughter #1 for practice and an hour of coaching. Husband, Daughter #2, Daughter #1 and I all return home around 7:00 in the evening, exhausted and hungry. Does this sound familiar?
In today’s busy world, it’s no wonder we turn to fast food or find ourselves on different eating schedules most of the time. Our evenings are overbooked, and cooking dinner and cleaning up the aftermath are the least of our worries. As guilty as I am of being overbooked, I hope in my heart of hearts that we all will revert back to evening dinners at the table and fewer after-school activities. Despite my own family’s crazy schedule, we make a commitment to eat as a family at least five times a week. Here are some tips that have worked for us.
Just like everything else on your calendar, unless it’s penciled in, it gets filled in. Pick a time that works most evenings and schedule activities around it. If you know that there is an evening that just won’t work, then do breakfast at the table as a family instead.
Prepare and Precook Food for the Week
I don’t want to sugarcoat this. This seriously takes planning, time and work. We spend our Sunday afternoons grilling meat and boiling eggs; cooking bowls of rice, pasta, and soba noodles; and preparing loads of vegetables, all to be stored in containers and refrigerated, ready for reheating during the week. This cuts back on cook time, messes and cleanup during the week. Without all this prep, we would end up with a bowl of cereal in front of us or at Taco Bell every night.
Not Every Meal Has to Be a Big Production
We allow for an “easy meal” night. Typically, this consists of a Crock-Pot meal, breakfast night or homemade pizzas. In other words, we do something that is relatively healthy, doesn’t make a huge mess and consists of an easy cleanup.
Bringing the family together for meals takes some work and consistent scheduling, but it’s worth it. Some solid planning and preparation leads to healthy meals, good conversation, technology disconnect and quality family time.