With school and sports in full swing, I always find it harder and harder to get everyone together around dinner time. Knowing how important family meals are though, we try and make this a priority at least most of the week. Sometimes we barely have time to grab a sandwich in between practices or games, but on the nights we have a little more time, I like to be sure everyone in inside together and able to have a nice sit down family meal. Even on these nights, time can still be an issue, so today I am sharing 5 steps to an easier dinner time so that you can spend less time prepping and cooking and more time sitting and talking!
Making time to be together doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy, in fact, the best meals can be the most simple ones. Use these ideas to help get your family a little more time to connect and enjoy one another:
Keep it simple
Family dinners don’t have to be these extravagant 5 course meals. While that may be nice for mom and dad, the kids just don’t have that kind of patience. Start with a wholesome family favorite and take it from there. One of my favorite ways to save time is choosing a frozen entree and building on it. Sometimes I just don’t have the time to prep for an hour before dinner, and here’s where using a frozen entree can be such a great idea!
One of our favorites is the Stouffer’s line of meals, especially the family sized classic lasagna with meat and sauce. This lasagna is made with premium ingredients like freshly made pasta layered between a rich meat sauce and topped with real mozzarella cheese and with 16 grams of protein per serving, I know it’s a wholesome meal my family deserves.
Let the kids pick the sides
Everyone knows that meals where the kids help to prepare are ones they are more likely to eat! An easy way to do this is to have them help choose what sides you’ll eat. Do they want salad or green beans? Maybe just some fresh fruit? Whatever they pick will allow them the chance to feel like they helped with dinner and make them feel included.
We know that everyone wants to eat better, but sometimes we just need inspiration and simple solutions to choose from so we can make it a reality more often. This is why choosing a wholesome frozen entree from Stouffer’s will allow you a little more time to chop and dice to make a beautiful and healthy salad to accompany your meal to really balance your plate
Have a no electronics rule for dinner time
This is no brainer. Dinner time should be about family time so put those devices away and talk!
Make dinner fun by asking the right questions
Dinner can get pretty boring if you just ask “how was your day?” and leave it at that. Instead of asking the same things over an over again, make dinner time funny by asking some silly questions, or make it thoughtful by asking questions that make both parents and kids think. Use this list of 101 FUN questions to ask your kids at dinner time to get started!
Get everyone involved in clean up
Having your kids help out with clean up is a great way to teach them about responsibility. They can help clear the table, wipe it down and load the dishwasher. By serving meals like Stouffer’s Lasagna with Meat and Sauce, it makes clean up even easier too!! No pans to scrub!
By using these simple tips, you can take your dinner time to the next level and make it so easy, that you’ll be sure to make more time to eat together during the week. Stouffer’s is really such a great choice for frozen entrees. They are focusing on their new “Kitchen Cupboard” commitment too, which focuses on shortening and simplifying recipes that only include real ingredients that consumers can recognize and can find at home, like vine-ripened tomatoes, freshly made pasta, and real mozzarella. Their great tasting food and side dish recipes show you don’t need to compromise flavor for nutrition when turning to convenient options that fit your busy lifestyle.
Is family dinner time a priority in your house? What tricks do you use to make it easier?
This post is in collaboration with Balance Your Plate and Stouffer’s. As part of the collaboration, I received product and incentives in exchange for participating in the program.