I think it goes without saying that we’re all busy these days—really busy! So much of what we do is focused on the happiness and wellbeing of our children. If happy, healthy children are important to you (and of course they are!), one of the most valuable times of day for them (and you) is dinnertime. You know… that familiar ritual of gathering around the table, distancing ourselves a bit from the rush-rush of our days, and nourishing our bodies and psyches with homemade food and conversation. If you’d like to make this happen but feel overwhelmed by the “how,” don’t give up. See below for the 5 biggest family dinner obstacles and creative strategies to overcome them:
Challenge: Kids get hungry before dinnertime
Solution: Give them a hearty snack mid-afternoon to stave off 5 PM munchies; put out a platter of cut fruits and vegetables before dinner to placate hunger
Challenge: Kids need to eat early so they have energy for late activities
Solution: Have kids eat a healthy, hearty snack before late practices. Even if they don’t eat much at dinnertime (although sometimes they’re famished again) we are still sharing that family time.
Challenge: The family cook is also the family chauffeur.
Solution: Cook and/or prep ahead; double recipes and stock your freezer; incorporate the slow cooker into your weekly routine. This Carpool Chicken is perfect for your busy chauffeuring days.
Challenge: Kids want attention/need supervision during prime dinner prep time
Solution: Turn your kids into sous chefs to help you with dinner; stock a drawer with fun cooking tools, stickers, etc., that they can play with while you cook (or if they are older, have a homework station near the kitchen); cook an extra meal or two on the weekends to serve during the week.
Challenge: One family member isn’t able to get home in time for dinner.
Solution: Make Sunday nights family dinner night and/or make breakfast your family meal.
Now that you’re feeling motivated and ready to make family dinners happen more often in your house, you may be wondering, “What should I make?” Easy… our friends at The Six O’Clock Scramble meal planning service have you covered.
Aviva Goldfarb, founder of The Six O’Clock Scramble has just published her 4th cookbook and we think it’s her best one yet! The Six O’Clock Scramble Meal Planner: A Year of Quick, Delicious Meals to Help You Prevent and Manage Diabetes (as well as The Scramble’s online meal planner) takes the stress and guesswork out of planning your dinners.
Here are a few more features you’ll love about this book:
- 160 delicious family-tested main dish recipes that require only 30 minutes or less to prepare—plus side dishes paired with every meal!
- Recipes organized by season and by week to give you variety throughout the year
- Shopping lists for each week
- Color photos for every recipe
- Slow cooker directions for most recipes
- Suggestions for boosting flavor with variations on sauces, spices or mix-ins
- Helpful tips to make cooking and shopping easier, saving you time and money
- Healthy breakfast, lunch, snack, and dessert ideas to keep your energy and mood up throughout the day
By the way, you DO NOT need to have diabetes or pre-diabetes to enjoy these recipes. While the book is published by the American Diabetes Association, it is filled with recipes for the whole family to enjoy.
So, if you’re ready to commit to overcoming obstacles associated with sitting down to family dinners (you can do it!), purchase The Six O’Clock Scramble’s new book or sign up for a free trial of The Scramble’s online meal planner so that your armed with tons of inspiration and tools for delicious, easy, family-friendly meals.