At my wedding, my father got up with my mother by his side, to give a speech. My father is a quiet man but when he has something to say it’s usually profound and this was no exception. He told my husband and I that the most important thing in a marriage is food. He explained further. What he meant by this is that most of the time that you will spend with your spouse (and your future children) is at the dinner table. This is where you will come together at the end of each day to not only eat, but reconnect and talk about the day’s events, the good, the bad and what’s to come.
It’s nice to come back together at the end of a crazy day and sit around the table. This is the time to catch up, touch base and see how everyone is doing. It gives the members of your family an opportunity to open up in a safe space. Even if the conversation is minimal, at least everyone knows that you are there to listen if they need it. This is also a space and time we can show our kids how important it is to have “face time”…not to be confused with “FaceTime” on the iPhone. It shows them the art of conversation and how to interact with people and not just a screen. I think back to my childhood and many of my favorite memories took place around the dinner table.
I have tried to follow my father’s advice. My husband and I do the best we can to sit down with our kids for dinner every night. Does this always happen? No, definitely not. School days are so hectic and everyone’s schedules are so different. Homework needs to be finished. Sports practices don’t end until late or someone has a late meeting. On many nights no one’s schedules line up and everyone is having dinner on the go. Or maybe we are going out with friends (which is also important for our own sanity, lol). But, when possible, it’s good to get the entire household together for a meal. Doing it just a few times a week can make all the difference.
And then comes the dreaded question…WHAT’S FOR DINNER??? This is probably the most asked question in my house. My children are barely finished with breakfast, and they already want to know what they are having for dinner. I find it hard, especially in the start of the school year, to come up with quick and easy meals to please the entire family. In the past I have tried to reinvent the wheel, thinking that I need to make a complicated, nutrition packed dinner that involves lots of chopping, cutting, mixing, and cooking. Who has time for all of that? (Certainly not me!) And I’m no Julia Child.
I’ve changed my ways and realized that keeping it simple is the way to go. The bottom line is that everyone needs to eat, and we need to try and be around the dinner table together. I have a few recipes that I stick to every week. They are simple, fast and some I can make ahead of time. It might not always be the most glamorous meal but if I can make something (or half make something) that will satisfy everyone, then I feel good. And of course, there is always take out!
Quick weekly meal ideas:
- Spaghetti with meat sauce, garlic bread (store bought from the freezer aisle)
- Tacos!! Every Tuesday!!
- Breakfast for dinner
- Grilled chicken with rice and broccoli
And of course, if all else fails, there’s no shame in ordering in!! Enjoy!