“It’s not what is on the dinner table that matters, it’s who’s in the chairs.”
I loathe, entirely, dinner time! We are not your typical family that has a meal on the table at 6:00 every night and dad is asking the kids, “how their day went”. I would love to be “that family”, but in reality it will not be reality for a long while. I am the mom that is trying to get by, just putting a nutritional meal on the table, period. Making dinner time faster and less stressful is my need in life. I have recently tried a few new tricks and had to share them with you because they are working wonders for this MSM. I actually enjoy dinner now and don’t have to scarf my food down before a child cries for help.
Meal prep– I go to the store every 2 weeks and meal prep for those two weeks. Write a list of dinners and the ingredients you will need for each meal. Stop worrying about it every day and just do yourself a favor and do it every 2 weeks.
Crock pot liners – The crock pot has become my best friend during meal time. I throw in a meat, starch, some type of seasoning and a frozen veggie and DONE! On the new fancy ones, you can set it to start a little later after you put the ingredients in so that its warm when you get home from work. The crock pot is great, but cleaning it is a pain in the butt. Let me introduce you to a crock pot liners: it will change your frustration in washing dishes after dinner. It truly makes dinner and clean up a snap.
Play time– On nights that I didn’t put something in the crock pot, it takes hours to cook dinner with 2 needy children. So the only thing to get them to be happy while I cook is to let my 2 year old play outside. I blare the music and open all my windows so I can see him playing in the backyard. It also gets all his jitters out so that he sleeps better that night, and it helps build up his dinner appetite.
Spinning Wheel– Make a spinning wheel with each meal written on a pie shape circle. Spin the wheel with a brad and paper clip and let the spinning choose the meal. I hate looking at the list and deciding what to cook and then my two year old getting mad on what he wanted. So when the spinning wheel chooses there is no fighting because this mama didn’t have to choose. So I tend to blame it on the wheel and not me.
Jar of questions– My 2 year old has a whole brain of funny things to always say when asked a question. He and I usually have a pretty funny conversation at the dinner table. I like to write up a few funny questions and put them in a jar and set them at the dinner table. He draws from the jar and has to answer the question, I usually video record it because it makes for pretty funny memories.
Dinner time isn’t always fun, but hopefully with a few new tricks it can be less stressful for mama and for the kiddos.