Thursday, June 18, 2015

Three on Thursday: Dinner

Dinner is the one responsibility I have that I just CAN'T change. Cleaning can wait until tomorrow, laundry can wait, dinner...cant! I am always interested in how other people do dinner time, so I thought I would do a Three on Thursday all about our dinner time routine! 

  1. Dinner is the one meal of the day that we eat TOGETHER, no excuses. I'll eat lunch and do some school planning work during the year while the kids eat at the swing set or their play table. We do breakfast as we wake up. We eat dinner together, bottom line. Usually my husband is home around 7 and so that is most often our dinner time. If my husband is home at 4, we eat around six. If he's home at 9, the kids eat at 7, go to bed, and I wait for him. Nobody should sit at a dinner table alone! And so we don't have a "normal" time...just a "normal" routine - when we all get home, we eat.
  2. I plan plan and plan some more. I always have a weekly schedule, and a back up meal just in case something goes wrong. For example, if we have planned on having chicken parmesan, and time gets away from us, we always have some bacon or sausage and our "floater" meal that week would be breakfast for dinner. Our meal plan is Monday-Friday, with Saturday being a meal out before church, and Sunday being our pizza night. Even when we have a sitter for date night, I have a "plan" for the kids (usually Annie's macaroni and some fruit salad). I also plan for the kids iPad time to take place during meal prep. I make sure to be realistic as I plan. Thursdays are busy days for us, and also a typically late night for my husband, so we have a baked potato night or a reheat night planned. No use in planning for and buying ingredients for something that isn't likely to happen! I also plan seasonally. Lots of warm meals in the fall even though its still warm in Florida, and lots of fresh cool sides and grilling in the summer. Retiring casseroles and soups until the next September makes everyone more likely to eat them and not get tired of it. Plus, who wants to get out of the pool after a long day in the sun and eat a heavy meal? Not us!
  3. Balance. Our dinners are 100% balanced because it's the only meal that they completely eat. There are NO snacks after about 2pm (however, they always have access to a couple fruit and veggie options) and that makes them hungry by the time dinner rolls around. We always have TWO veggies at dinner (yeah, we don't follow the food pyramid to a "t") a whole grain option - usually something made from fresh wheat (sorry kiddos, garlic bread ain't gonna cut it!) and a portion of protein. Milk is the only option other than water so they don't fill up of the bad stuff. Many times we don't eat meat at dinner if we're having a soup or casserole, although we eat meat almost every evening during BBQ season. And we ALWAYS have dessert! Life's too short to skip the (brown rice) crispy treats or the (spinach) fruit smoothies! Although nobody's perfect, and we're known to keep a box of brownie mix around just in case ;)
And to see how others do family dinners, check out the "This is How We Do it" link-up at  Grace Mountain Diaries and The Boutelle Family 
What are some of your family's favorite meals? 


  1. I love that you guys are flexible & always eat together. A quick floater meal = so brilliant! And how fun that you include (a healthy) dessert. Thanks so much for linking up with us & sharing these great tips!

  2. I'm with ya on the family eating together! It isn't always easy, but we make it work.