Around the Table!

The Caring Callaghans…
October 15, 2020
Blaze-ing a Trail…
October 22, 2020

Family At Home Eating Outdoor Meal Together

Bringing Love and Fun Back into Family Meals…

WORDS: Christa Hardin, MA

It’s not every day that families get to eat together anymore, but should it be? While some families manage to dine around the table together for everyday grub, so many more are finding the attempts to eat together all but futile. One parent is working late, perhaps both, there are complicated schedules in the week when one child visits another parent, or perhaps there’s a sport at the dinner hour.

Though time in quarantine has increased our family food hours together a bit, at least temporarily, children’s and parents’ schedules are not always intentionally lining up for a family smorgasbord together.

However, according to Stanford Children’s Health, sitting down to a family meal helps a family process their everyday stresses and decrease the hassles of everyday existence. In other words, whatever you choose to eat together nutritionally, the simple act of even eating together is really good for your mental health!

Here’s the good news! Eating together doesn’t have to be a complete experiment of food science concoctions (how many vitamin A-packed mushrooms can I sneak in here?) that will make your family’s head spin. It can be both fun and relaxing.

To make times of eating both together and apart more enjoyable, here are a few tips from my family to yours:

  1. Arrange everyone’s schedules so one night a week (usually Sunday night) is an assembly line of getting snacks in either lunch boxes or compartments. Sunday is a day someone can typically run to the store easily for forgotten items. Ex: We like to grill chicken or buy a couple of rotisseries Sunday evening to use right away, freeze, and pack into meals throughout the week for faster dinners.
  2. Arrange everyone’s schedules so one night a week (usually Sunday night) is an assembly line of getting snacks in either lunch boxes or compartments. Sunday is a day someone can typically run to the store easily for forgotten items. Ex: We like to grill chicken or buy a couple of rotisseries Sunday evening to use right away, freeze, and pack into meals throughout the week for faster dinners.
  3. Arrange everyone’s schedules so one night a week (usually Sunday night) is an assembly line of getting snacks in either lunch boxes or compartments. Sunday is a day someone can typically run to the store easily for forgotten items. Ex: We like to grill chicken or buy a couple of rotisseries Sunday evening to use right away, freeze, and pack into meals throughout the week for faster dinners.
  4. Arrange everyone’s schedules so one night a week (usually Sunday night) is an assembly line of getting snacks in either lunch boxes or compartments. Sunday is a day someone can typically run to the store easily for forgotten items. Ex: We like to grill chicken or buy a couple of rotisseries Sunday evening to use right away, freeze, and pack into meals throughout the week for faster dinners.
  5. Arrange everyone’s schedules so one night a week (usually Sunday night) is an assembly line of getting snacks in either lunch boxes or compartments. Sunday is a day someone can typically run to the store easily for forgotten items. Ex: We like to grill chicken or buy a couple of rotisseries Sunday evening to use right away, freeze, and pack into meals throughout the week for faster dinners.
  6. Arrange everyone’s schedules so one night a week (usually Sunday night) is an assembly line of getting snacks in either lunch boxes or compartments. Sunday is a day someone can typically run to the store easily for forgotten items. Ex: We like to grill chicken or buy a couple of rotisseries Sunday evening to use right away, freeze, and pack into meals throughout the week for faster dinners.
  7. Arrange everyone’s schedules so one night a week (usually Sunday night) is an assembly line of getting snacks in either lunch boxes or compartments. Sunday is a day someone can typically run to the store easily for forgotten items. Ex: We like to grill chicken or buy a couple of rotisseries Sunday evening to use right away, freeze, and pack into meals throughout the week for faster dinners.
  8. Arrange everyone’s schedules so one night a week (usually Sunday night) is an assembly line of getting snacks in either lunch boxes or compartments. Sunday is a day someone can typically run to the store easily for forgotten items. Ex: We like to grill chicken or buy a couple of rotisseries Sunday evening to use right away, freeze, and pack into meals throughout the week for faster dinners.
  9. Arrange everyone’s schedules so one night a week (usually Sunday night) is an assembly line of getting snacks in either lunch boxes or compartments. Sunday is a day someone can typically run to the store easily for forgotten items. Ex: We like to grill chicken or buy a couple of rotisseries Sunday evening to use right away, freeze, and pack into meals throughout the week for faster dinners.
  10. Arrange everyone’s schedules so one night a week (usually Sunday night) is an assembly line of getting snacks in either lunch boxes or compartments. Sunday is a day someone can typically run to the store easily for forgotten items. Ex: We like to grill chicken or buy a couple of rotisseries Sunday evening to use right away, freeze, and pack into meals throughout the week for faster dinners.
  11. Arrange everyone’s schedules so one night a week (usually Sunday night) is an assembly line of getting snacks in either lunch boxes or compartments. Sunday is a day someone can typically run to the store easily for forgotten items. Ex: We like to grill chicken or buy a couple of rotisseries Sunday evening to use right away, freeze, and pack into meals throughout the week for faster dinners.

You don’t have to do all of this, but do take a few extra minutes to intentionally plan a way for your family to see that you care, not only that they eat, but that they eat with love in mind. Whether it’s prettily plating out the portions, lighting a candle, adding some music, or otherwise going the extra mile (and mouthful), make the family feel valued. We remember not days, but moments and family connectedness around food is a great place to begin.

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