Less Stressful Weeknight Meals

26 Feb

 Our own Carrie McConnell, registered dietitian, led a group discussion on how to minimize the stress involved in meal preparation. Wary of leading an advice- giving session, “of course, no one wants advise,” Carrie facilitated a creative and entertaining brainstorm. Here are the results of our collective ideas on simplifying the process: IMG_4423

Some helpful tools and appliances to aid the process:

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Some thoughts on improving the internal thought process involved in meal prep:

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Some go-to ingredients to always have on hand for easy planning:

IMG_4421

Collectively, we problem-solved some typical barriers to getting the dinner on the table.  Here are a few: varying meal times, variable participants (late arrival or non-arrival of spouse), variable weekend schedules, picky eaters, dietary restrictions, over-snacking, hovering, hungry kids and partners, poor manners, lack of variety, and many more.  Some wonderful solutions were elicited by sharing our own struggles and ideas.  A few favorites heard were: changing our self-talk about the process (see photo), change expectations, enlist kid’s help, meal plan and preparation on a given day of the week, recipe sharing, apps, reward positive behavior and manners ( Carmen suggests placing quarter on each child’s chair as a reward they may keep if not seen during the meal to minimize jumping and squirming at table), placing vegetable snacks out while meal in preparation is in progress, among others.  Finally, Julie Foge shared the tip, ” my job is to provide a balanced, nutritious meal while the child’s job is to decide if they will eat it or not”  as a way to minimize too much short-order cooking or simultaneous meal planning.

Many MomTime members shared some easy or go-to recipes. Barbara Fick graciously organized them so they are available to share here.  Thank you, Barbara: MomTimeRecipes

Enjoy and bon appetit!

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