Back-to-School is like New Year’s Day. It is a time for a fresh start. Make it a priority this school year to eat together as a family most nights of the week because the secret to a healthy family is gathering around the family table. Avoiding the following mistakes will make it easier to have time to eat together as a family.
- Not Planning the Week’s Menu: It is as easy as making a list! Try sitting down on Sunday and listing 4 meats, 8 side dishes, and 2 left-overs using 2 of the meats. (I’ve included an example below.) This takes just a few minutes but will give you a plan and a grocery list for the week. You can assign a meal for each night if you like or make a decision day by day depending on the time you have. Try making 3 different plans that you can rotate through. Need some meal ideas? Click HERE
- Not Using the Curbside and Delivery Services Grocery Stores Offer: Using these services can be life changing. They even save previous orders you have made so you can just re-order with one click!
- Not Having a Set Meal Time: This is very important. If you work outside the home and don’t get home until later try setting a 7:30 or 8:00 meal time. Your kids can do homework and snack on an apple or carrots or even bathe while you make dinner. It is all about creating a routine that works for your family and sticking to it.
- Over-Scheduling Your Kids: This one might be a bit controversial. Try putting each child in only one extra curricular activity each semester. Children get tired and need down time. Many times kids are expected to go for 12+ hours a day with school, sports, music, drama, homework. Some kids are putting in longer days than many adults. Having your children in every single extra curricular activity does not make you a good parent, it just makes you a tired one! “The Race to Nowhere” is a wonderful film and resource. Click Here to learn more.
- Not Talking to Your Family About Making Gathering Around the Table a Priority: You must get your family to buy in so they are making it a priority too. They need to understand the importance of family meal time and have some input in it so everyone has ownership in the plan. Try creating an evening plan together. Write it down on a piece of paper. Have everyone sign it. Explain that the plan can always be altered when needed to accommodate changes. (Congratulations! You’ve just taken the first step toward a healthier family.)
Pick 4 Proteins/Meats for the Week
- pork tenderloin (Cook enough for left-over sandwiches for one meal.)
- chicken breasts (2 per person for left-over menu.)
- ground meat for hamburger patties (1/2 lb. per person)
- salmon (one piece per person)
Left Over Plan (Plan for 2 meals using protein/meat left overs.)
- tenderloin and grilled cheese sandwiches (NEED: bread and sliced cheese)
- Use left over chicken in tortilla soup, casserole or on a pizza (tortilla soup…NEED: chicken stock, onions, peppers, monterrey jack cheese, diced tomatoes, beans, tortilla strips)
8 Side Dishes
- roasted vegetables (NEED: broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots)
- green salad (NEED: romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers, hearts of palm, olives)
- Spanish Cauliflower Rice (NEED: cauliflower bits, diced tomatoes, orange bell pepper, black beans)
- green beans (canned)
- mashed cauliflower (NEED: cauliflower head, butternut squash, cream cheese)
- pea salad (NEED: frozen peas, onions, cheese)
- cucumber and tomato salad (NEED: cucumbers, tomatoes)
- frozen French fries (NEED: French fries)
Hope these ideas help your family gather around your table more often this school year! Like these ideas? Click HERE to get more.