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October is designated National Eat Better, Eat Together Month to encourage families of any size to spend quality time together over the evening meal. Eating evening meals together not only encourages bonding time, but it also saves you money and can help keep your waistline trimmer. How can you counter the pitfalls that interrupt your mealtime together? We address the 5 biggest excuses to eat out and on the go, and give you reasons to rethink your meals.
Just an hour’s worth of time before your week gets going Monday morning can make all the difference for dinners together. Take a moment to write out your meal plan for the week and include your evening schedule in the plan. Are nighttime activities interrupting normal dinnertime? See if you can flex those nights for a late crock pot-ready dinner or an early quick bite. Need ideas for filling sandwiches for those nights? Be sure to check out Pinterest board.
Don’t beat yourself up if those evening activities make home meal time impossible. Plan a meeting place before or after events to picnic for the evening as a family. Stash cut fruit, veggies, and sandwiches and park it at the park for 20 minutes before everyone goes on their way.
Think it’s quicker for you to dine out during the week? Think again. With all the meal prep ideas and make-ahead freezer fare, just a few hours during the weekend will save you big time during the week when you consider the time spent driving to restaurants and waiting in lines. Not to mention the time you’ll spend trying to get those dead French fries out from under your car seat!
Speaking of cleaning, is the time spent post-meal what holds you back from dining at home the most? Eliminate multiple dishes by fixing one of these one-pan meals.
Picky eaters getting you in a mealtime pickle each night? Make assembly-style meals such as mini-pizzas, quesadillas, or baked subs. Are you craving something hearty? Make a pasta primavera and have steamed veggies such as broccoli or sliced and seasoned zucchini, a protein like chicken or shrimp, and shredded cheese for topping to select.
With the rise in popularity of grocery pick up services, online shopping, and delivery, getting food into your home has never been easier! Many major area retailers have apps that make shopping for your weekly food a snap.
Delivered meal kits also aid in dinnertime together, but if the expense is holding you back from trying them out search for referrals or coupons to use. Many local grocers stock similar meal kits as well, making your meal plans more unique.
Don’t let lack of skill hold you back from dining at home. Start simple with salads and sandwiches and work your way up. Get yourself a crock pot and learn the magic of letting this appliance cook something easy and delicious for you. Or, apply yourself and designate this as your newest hobby. There are numerous websites and Youtube channels ready to help you learn. Check out LearntoCook for a great place to start.
We hope this helps you Eat Better, Eat Together this month! Do you have any favorite quick and easy recipes to share? Be sure to post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page!