Is your family too busy to sit down together to eat a meal? Make family mealtime a priority by planning ahead.
First of all, we decided that dinner doesn’t have to be the meal we choose to eat together. Due to conflicting schedules, breakfast may be the meal that works best.
Plan your mealtimes
Last month we got a head start on meal planning, and now we can put that knowledge into practice.
Stuart Harries, alive’s editor-in-chief, likes to preplan meals for the entire week. “Having crazy busy schedules means we’ll eat out or order in (generally a less-than-healthy option!) if we haven’t prepared in advance,” he says.
“This week we sat down on Sunday and preplanned every meal for the week ahead. We did our grocery shopping (all except a few things we wanted to be same-day fresh, like the salmon filets for Thursday’s orange and miso glazed salmon … yum!), and we’re ready to break bread at home each night this week.
“Whenever we plan ahead, we’re always pleased with how much quality time we get together as we plan, shop, cook, and eat as a family! Always well worth the few minutes of preplanning on Sundays for hours of enjoyment later in the week.”
Have it your way
For me, personally, I like to plan about half a week at a time. I find that by buying less food, we also waste less food. I live with my 25-year-old son. Although I did advise yesterday not to focus a meal around the TV, sometimes rules are made to be broken. One of the things that guarantees we’ll sit down and eat together is a Vancouver Canucks hockey game or a Toronto Blue Jays baseball game.
If games start on the West Coast, we’re able to sit at the table and eat before the game, but if we’re watching a Blue Jays game that starts at 4:30 our time, we’ll often plan a quick and easy dinner, such as a stir-fry or a one-pot meal such as chili or stew accompanied by a salad, that we can eat while we watch. (Warning: if you’re trying to make mealtime relaxing, it’s a bad idea to get too worked up about the outcome of the game while you’re eating. Serenity now!)
Tasty—and easy—meal ideas
Check out the easy, nutritious alive recipes we’ve put together to help you make mealtime simple, fuss-free, and family-friendly.
Remember, eating together is all about what works for you and your family. Let us know your tips for creating a fun or relaxing family mealtime. How many meals did your family eat together this week?