If your kids don’t run to the dinner table, maybe it’s time to take an honest look at your routine meals and make sure you’re offering variety and some new meals, occasionally. Get some additional dinnertime enthusiasm and more smiles on your family’s faces with some delicious new ideas. Here are some tips to spice things up a bit.
Change up your routine
Try to plan for a week’s worth of meals before the week begins and get in the habit of planning your weekly menus. Planning your meals in advance can be a huge time saver and help you avoid the “what am I going to cook for dinner?” debate. You’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll have dinner on the table rather than arguing about what you’re going to cook. This also helps you and your husband/wife stay on the same page reducing the “what do you have the taste for” debate every night.
Over the weekend – or whenever your free time occurs – think through the upcoming week and loosely plan four or five meals for the week. In addition to saving time on grocery shopping, it will also reduce the stress of having to come up with meal ideas on a hectic evening, last minute. I try to keep a notepad on the refrigerator to jot down items I’m running low on or completely out of so I can keep my kitchen stocked and not be missing ingredients when I need them. This advance planning will keep you from running out of the ingredients you need on a regular basis.
Spicing things up isn’t a great idea on special occasions. If you’re cooking a meal for some important occasion, stick with a recipe you’re comfortable with and avoid the temptation to try a new dish. You ‘ll be more relaxed and less anxious while cooking. People will be able to taste the difference.
On weekends, try to make larger meals that leftovers can be eaten during the week. For instance, left over roasted beef can make great sandwiches during throughout the week. This will save time and money. A win-win situation for any family.
I recommend taking a good, honest look at your routine cooking and see if it could use some changes. If so, using some of the tips above can help reduce stress while still adding some new variety to the mix. It’s worth a shot. Worst case scenario, you have to microwave some chicken nuggets or whip up some pancakes for the kids if they don’t like your new dish. A little variety won’t hurt them but make sure you have a good stash of their favorites in the freezer in case they don’t care for the new recipes you’re testing.
If you took an honest look at your mealtime offerings and decided that they could use some help, start with the fresh ideas in the article above and you will have your family running to the table in no time. These practical tips will get you on your way to success.