If your home is anything like mine, the dinner hour can get quite hectic. We are usually preparing to rush out the door to some extracurricular or church activity, hubby is just getting home from work, kids are finishing up their homework, and tensions can run high. Yet, studies show that eating as a family is really important for family stability and cohesion. How can you create a calmer environment for dinner? Here are some tips:
• Have a menu plan. A lot of stress can be averted if you already know what you are going to have for dinner and the ingredients are available (and thawed). Plan your menu according to what is going on in your family’s schedule. I always plan something fairly simple on Wednesdays because we have to be to church by 6pm. Making your menu work for your family will save a lot of time.
• Share the responsibility. Older kids can help with meal preparation and littler kids can set the table. Making them a part of the process will make the dinner hour run smoother!
• Make sure the kitchen is ready for meal preparation. This may seem obvious but kitchens tend to attract so much clutter that it can be hard to find a place on the counter to shred that pulled pork. Save yourself time by clearing out the clutter before hand.
• Make meal time fun. Invest in some conversation starters or ice breakers if you are having trouble getting your tween to answer a question with more than “fine”. Have a dinner rhyme or a prayer you always say for smaller kids. Make a certain night dessert night or sundae night. By making dinner something they look forward to for more than nutrition will solidify the important habit of eating as a family.
What do you do to make the dinner hour run smoothly?
Posted by Melissa of Multitasking Mama