Byline: Heather Rampolla
I’ve noticed that most moms struggle at dinner time. It makes sense. When dinner time rolls around your brain is likely fried after working all day. Having to decide “what’s for dinner?” (once again) can create a lot of stress.
Add to it the struggle of picky eaters, it’s no wonder that we often revert to something convenient versus something healthy.
Follow these 4 steps to keep your sanity and eat healthy during dinner time.
4 Steps to Sanity At Dinner Time For Busy Moms
Step 1: Have A Simple Plan
Remember that phrase, K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Silly)? This applies to creating meal plans, too.
Some of us have an aversion to being in the kitchen. If this is you, it’s okay! Having a meal plan doesn’t require you to be a Martha Stewart type. Rather, having a plan is super smart if you don’t favor being in the kitchen.
I like to keep things ultra simple for this never ending chore of making dinner. Having a simple meal plan allows me to spend more time with those I love or doing something I enjoy.
Amy Wright, creator of The Mom CEO Sanity Renewal System, and mother of four, recommends a great resource to her busy clients:
“If you can’t hire a personal chef, then use emeals.com”
Meal plans start at $5 per month and offer weekly plans according to your eating preferences, including paleo, clean eating, or vegetarian.
Step 2: Be In The Moment
The truth is that you spend more time preparing your food than you do sitting together at the table eating it. If you’re not aware, you often finish eating before you have the opportunity to enjoy this precious time (and then it’s off to the next task – clean up!).
As a busy mom, you’re going so fast… and our job is never really done. But this shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the moments together as a family.
I love the suggestion from Nina Manolson, Holistic Health Coach, and mother of two:
“Create a 2 minute ritual to pause in silent meditation before eating.”
This simple ritual creates the intention of, “this is family dinner time” and reminds us that this is a sacred space of nourishment.
Step 3: Put The Veggies Out
When I help moms, they often express to me their desire to eat healthy and also the guilt they struggle with for not serving healthy options. Here’s the dealio… put the veggies out and stop beating yourself up about not being a good parent!
Be prepared that the family might not be excited about change. Change can be scary, right? Let them know veggies at dinner is the new norm, but also reassure them that this doesn’t mean the end to the foods they know and love.
And mom, make sure to be consistent with adding in new veggies. If you haven’t been consistent in the past, expect the family to rebel. This negative behavior has served them previously because it got you to cave in on these healthy changes. Stay consistent and soon they will stop with any complaints.
Step 4: Don’t Take it Personally
Presenting dinner is often done as act of service for those we love. Kids (and partners) usually aren’t aware of the thought and effort that goes into planning and preparing meals.
If the family is not hungry or doesn’t like the options served that night, remember not to force them to finish it all. No one likes to be forced or controlled… doing so only leads to rebellion. Remain calm if the family doesn’t finish the meal you prepared, knowing this isn’t a reflection of their love for you.
In fact, it really is okay if they don’t eat it all. After all, you want them to learn to listen to their body – when they’re full or hungry.
These 4 Steps: Have a plan, be present, put the veggies out, & don’t take it personal, are foundational steps to keeping your sanity at dinner time.
Heather Rampolla is an author, blogger, healthy eating coach, and host of Fresh Eats Radio for moms with a full plate. Want more help balancing it all without sacrificing your health? Click here to discover the 3 Steps To Get Out Of Your FUNK & Stop Eating JUNK!