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  • Writer's pictureDr. Jill King

3 Ways to De-Stress Dinner Time

What's for dinner? The dreaded question of the day.

Dinner time is such a great way to unplug and reconnect with our family. How is it that 5pm comes so quick and now we have to figure out what to feed everyone? You're tired, running late and most likely didn't have time to stop at the grocery store. This is when a drive-thru sounds amazing. Am I right?

Here are 3 ways that we keep sane at dinner time:

Plan Ahead: Simple is always best. Make a list of the days you will be eating at home and what the meals will be. This will also help you when you are grocery shopping so you know what to buy for the week. No one likes multiple trips to the grocery. Make a plan to go once a week so you are prepared for the week. This will also to help you stay on track with preparing healthy, simple, meals for your family. Enlist the help of your family. You don't have to do it alone.

Prepare Ahead of Time: Preparing ahead of time is part of planning. What day will you take 1 hour to wash and cut foods so they are easily accessed and ready? Wash all your fruits and veggies and put them in storage containers. If you really want to save time during the week, you can also prepare your meats so they are either ready to heat up or ready to be cooked. Preparing and serving your meals at roughly the same time each day will encourage a sense of routine in your home.

Set the Rules: It is so easy to have a meal together but not really spend time together. Electronics are way too easy to bring to the table. Set the tone that the table is an electronic free zone. Ask questions to get your family talking and really listen to what they are saying. Teach your child that speaking up is important and that you are truly interested in what they have to say. To get my kiddos to open up and talk, I ask them to give me their "high and low" for the day. For example, a high could be a good test score and a low is they got a stain on their favorite shirt.

Preparing and sharing meals together is also a good way to influence what your children eat. Simply being together and chatting about the day can be enough to help you stay connected with your family.

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