Sunday, October 2, 2011

Why the Family Meal is Important...

Family meals shouldn't be reserved for just the holidays. Sure, those are fun too, but eating together is much more than that. Family meals are a chance for everyone in the family to connect, pray together, share their day, and discuss what is going on in the world around them. As teens get older, having the entire family together for a meal becomes more and more of a challenge. Jobs, friends, activities all get in the way of making meal time a time for family.

Now that my two oldest are working and going to college – we find our family time getting more and more sparse. One way we make sure to connect is by going to church together. We’ve recently renewed our commitment to this aspect of our lives as we found that being apart spiritually made other areas more difficult as well.

Post church at our favorite Mexican restaurant
Additionally, we’ve renewed our resolve to eat together for meals. If we have an activity at night, I try to make sure to plan a meal that is either ready to serve early or can be put on hold until late. If that won’t work, we put the cellphones into gear and come up with a mutual meeting place where we can all sit down for a bite to eat. It doesn’t always work, but the effort is worth it when it does.

I've been discovering new recipes to try on the family. Peruse by my recent posts, and you'll find our reaction to the six recipes that we've sampled. It's fun to have new foods to gather around and try. Even my youngest can get adventurous at times. Of course, he prefers to sample new desserts.

Family getting ready to sample a new recipe

Some ways to make sure your family connects at meal time:
· Know everyone’s schedule. This allows for creative planning around when dinner will be served.

· Make sure all know it’s important that the family spend this time together.

· Use your crockpot! One way to ensure meal time doesn’t happen is a busy day and no plan. On days when we are on the run, I put a meal in the crockpot on low. That way, when we’re ready, it is.

· Plan meals. I’m working on this one. Again, if there’s a plan, people are more likely to come together. When it’s a scramble for the pantry to figure out what to eat, people lose interest and disperse.

· Plan a weekly meal out. Teens and poor college students love a free meal – especially at a restaurant. That’s not the only reason they come, of course, but it’s good incentive. We plan to have lunch out after church every Sunday.
How does your family handle meal times? Are you able to connect despite your buys lives? What unique strategies have you come up with for making meal time family time?

Check out my most recent shoppertunity planning for a quick and easy family meal.
*** This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias.

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