Meal time with the family…
So the end of the day comes, dinner time is coming up and everyone is tired, what are the options?
You could take the easy road and go for a TV dinner, wack it in the microwave and eat in front of the box, kids eating from where ever they are in the house and no one see’s each other OR create a nice meal and get around a table for a catch up on the days events.
While the pic above has the perfect family we are not it, not for a min! What we do try though is make a big effort to use this time of day for us to do the following
- Prepare a fresh meal
- Get kids involved
OK so in a real sense again we are not the perfect family, there are days when we do quick meals, Pasta and red sauce with parmesan cheese, fresh chicken goujons for the kids, a meat-free salad or fresh turkey burgers and salad. Then we have days where we cook a meat-free roast with Yorkshire puddings and veg or a prawn Thermador (very tasty) and then some days where its just meat-free burgers in buns.
Whatever the meal we buy fresh and cook fresh every day. I would say less than 5% of what we buy is freezer based, the cost is cheaper than convenience food, we do not live on fast food and being i have gone 95% meat-free i find i am a lot better health wise and the kids also prefer non meat based chicken nuggets or burgers. Some families may point to not having the time to cook a midweek roast for example, I would call them out on that! 1hr30min would have a joint, potatoes, veg and yorkies done. all other meals are quicker and i do feel its in the planning, wither plan the night before or the morning off. For example, on a Sunday if I do a roast I get the veg prepped in the morning, 20 mins and all done, it just needs cooking in the afternoon. I suppose you could apply “failure to prepare, prepare to fail” as it really is apt on this point.
Kids & Talking
Moving onto the kids, each meal time we sit around the table, kids help lay out what’s needed most days. Then we sit and eat and let the boys tell us about the day they had, what the experienced or learned or whatever the story, just let them talk with rather than be talked at. We each take it, in turn, to talk about the day, then move onto football or games or whatever. we do however take this time to see how they are. Having a 15 yr old we are aware at the changes he is going through on many levels so try to look for how is his mood for example. We are also aware that while brothers will tease each other as much as big brother should not tease too much the little fella it works both ways and Liam being the younger can really get stuck in at times so we watch for this also. In general, we find this time so valuable. So much so that i base my working day in order to make this time a priority. I am up at 5am, in the office for 7am so i can leave at 4pm to be home for 5:30. If not I am home about 7 or after and I miss dinner. I miss these chats and often fun times and to be honest they won’t last forever so might as well soak them up while I can.
It’s also important to note that not every family is in a position to have daily family time together like a sit-down dinner. In that case, make your family time the time that works best for you, whether that’s breakfast, on the weekend, or another time.