In our fast-paced world, we often dread the time to whip up a family meal. It has it to be to everyone’s taste and should be nutritious. It’s a challenge to get everyone to sit down and peacefully enjoy it together. The truth is, our focus is already on the next thing we have to accomplish- mealtime gets in the way of finishing up all other things which we think are MUCH MORE IMPORTANT.-
Now wonder- we think it’s not always #bettertogether
Our new world is all about GRAB to GO. Of course it is a lot to juggle- Family, work, a little bit of leisure- so taking out that 1h family mealtime- when instead we could just put placemats in front of the Telly, is for most of us a priority we drag or even demote it to old fashion.
However, the truth is most of us know that this is the only time we really have during the day to be able to come together- and actually communicate actively with each other.
Here are 10 family mealtime secrets you should know to make this time of the day #bettertogether.
1.) Focus on the meal TOGETHER– turn of the TV, mobiles, pads and turn the music down. After all, nothing can be as important than this present moment.
2.)Everyone gets a voice. Take turns in telling each other’s day. You will be surprised how much you will find out about your child’s- problems and achievements or what makes them tick. Now is a good time to casually give positive advice. Even your children will start to understand- what Mama or Papa do- and why things are a certain way.
3.) No one is the other’s maid. All play a role in putting the family meal together. One turns off the TV, the other sets up the table, one creates the salad, the other the main dish. Start encouraging your kids to cook. Make them responsible for one part of the meal. Starting with the desert- will certainly get them interested.- Once they see how much work it is- they will stop complaining and be more interested in what’s on the plate.
4.) Don`t start from scratch every day. Think ahead. It takes nearly the same time to cook double the size of lasagne than just the portion for that day. Afterall- prep and clean up- occupies a 1/3 of the meal creation time. Freeze the other half for another week -don’t serve it again next day- keeping variety avoids long faces- Trust me no one will remember in 2 weeks- that it is the same one.
5.) Make Family mealtime HAPPY fun Time. This is not the time to proclaim punishments for your kids- Bad news affects any stomach.
6.) Plan ahead to everyone’s taste. Get together at the end of the week- and give each family member a voice for planning the family mealtime. Each other day can be their “favorite dish day”.
7.) Look at your freezer in a different way. As probably one of the best inventions of the 20th century, it was not just made for storing precooked supermarket fast food. All these empty carbs- will not just make your stomach think it hasn’t had enough yet- but also- make you spend more time in the gym or money on bigger clothes. Instead of cutting meal preparation time in skipping the complete process- skip cleaning the veggies- and use frozen pre- cleaned (but not cooked) ones. They actually have more nutrition than most of the none-organic you get in the supermarket- because they are picked when fully ripe- rather than “green”- like the supposedly FRESH veggies you get in the store.
8.) It’s ok if some of the meal might not be to everyone’s taste. Important is to “try it all”. If your kids hate broccoli start introducing or disguising it with something they really like. Try to hide it in their favorite lasagne. Once they get used to healthy bits and pieces it will become normal.
9.) Fussy eaters- hate big portions- and so does your body scale- keep portions small– your body needs 10 -15 minutes to notice that your are actually satisfied. Water is ideal to accompany the meal. It’s the best hydration you can get and tricks your stomach of being full. Stay away from fizzy drinks with your meal- they are a sugar trap- and are one of the triggers to obesity and also the so-called “sugar rush”- that makes kids hyperactive- and difficult to get to bed.
10.) Last but not least, make family mealtime a habit. Soon everyone will feel that it is #bettertogether. Make the kitchen a fun and great place for everyone to “hang out” and prepare the best the meal for the best part of the day. The family meal.