"If anything is worth doing, it is worth doing badly."
G. K. Chesterton
Eating together as a family, even a single meal a day, has fallen to a rare normal. A mere 27% of families eating together, only eat, drink, and converse at meal time (listen to Les and Leslie Parrot talk about this sobering pattern). Eating purposefully, together, and regularly is indeed worth doing, but admittedly, sometimes needs a few shortcuts. Create space to mealtimes. Give these a try. Be realistic. Suggest a few of your own shortcuts in the comments below:
- Use paper plates. Try fun colors or paper party plates. Special touch for sabbath family meals. Easier for you, you'll also win eager eaters.
- Try frozen entrees. A reheated lasagna and fresh salad is a cinch to prepare, and is a step above frozen pizza.
- Prepare two, freeze one. If you go to all the trouble of preparing a meal, save yourself some work by preparing double, and freezing half for a future meal.
- Rotate helpers. Even middle schoolers can make a pot of mac and cheese and throw in some tuna and veggies for a one pot wonder. To simplify, assign a specialty meal for each helper to prepare on their meal night.
- KISS. Keep it Simple, Silly! Have a regular finger food night that is simple to prepare and fun to eat. Find a hummus recipe you like. Dip veggies and bread. Easy to make ahead and serve in a moment!
- Commit to 15 mealtime minutes. Be realistic. An average week night meal need not carry the pressure of a long drawn out ritual. Focus on sweet and prompt times together. You will be more likely to connect regularly if you set a reasonable goal.
- Think outside the norm. Instead of family dinner time, try Saturday morning pancakes or Sunday pizza parties. Spending a family meal together is most important.