How often does your family sit down to a home cooked meal together?
Sometimes it can become a challenge once the kids are back at school and you become caught up in transporting them to an array of extra curricular activities along with juggling work and other commitements. However apart from saving some money, enjoying home cooked meals is good for our health. It improves our well being and makes it easier to maintain a healthy body weight. Perhaps it is a good time to set some new habits in your home. To get you started I have a few tips:
- Make the evening meal a shared family ritual. Its a good time to discuss important decisions and re- group after the day.
- Develop a list of dishes that the family enjoys. You might like to add a few new recipes too.
- Start assigning dishes to the days of the week. Consider the family's extra commitments. For example a roast meal might suit better on the weekend when everyone is home, whereas a dish that can easily be reheated such as a stir fry might suit better on a night when family members play late sport.
- Write the meals on a menu planner and check you have the ingredients before shopping. Download my menu planner here.
- Be sure to include dishes or sides to boost salad and vegetables.
- Enlist help from other family members. I find a "helper roster" works well in my family. Each child is given a turn at taking some repsonsibility for dinner on set nights of the week. Older children can cook the meal. Younger children can set the table, wash and prepare vegetables. And of course help with the clean up. This helps teach important food skills.
- Keep the atmosphere friendly and supportive and your family will value the important time shared together each night.