Friday, February 11, 2011

Family dinner

I've made some effort in the last few weeks to try to get food on the table in an appropriate amount of time for all of us to eat together.


It is really nice.

Ells has been trying to drag out bedtime more and more these days, so even if I am no-nonsense, she is rarely in bed with lights out before 730pm. And even then, there is lots of going up and down to replace socks, or covers, or something else important. Eating dinner at 800pm is too late for me, or my dinner just gets cold due to the constant interruptions.

I also think eating at the table with us makes Ellen a little bit more comfortable with eating at restaurants. We don't eat out with her very often, but I will jinx it and say she has been doing better. Confining her to the inside seat of a booth seems to work best - a little bit of freedom, but she can't run wild.

Finally, I notice that she is more willing to try foods that we are all eating together, rather than if I just give her the leftovers the next day. This isn't rocket science, I know, but nice to see that it sometimes works in practice.

What this does mean for me, though, is that I need to have a few really easy meals planned for the week, and something that seems reasonably kid friendly. We haven't been a big taco family, but that is a great one for all of us. Pasta works pretty well, too. She isn't big on soups (or, I should say, she isn't big on soups at home. She seems to eat them just fine at school). It takes more planning on the front end, but I like getting into the habit a bit more.

What about you? What are your go-to, family-friendly meals?


The Allen's said...

I've started feeding Charlie at 6.. he usually won't finish his meal by then, so we bathe at 6:30. By 7, Patrick is home and we sit down all together to eat. Charlie will finish his meal/try what we are having and we put him down between 7:15-7:30pm. (Charlie usually gets left-overs).
Seems to be working well. I'll need to update my blog on what we've been having.

Liz Krueger said...

We eat together every night - have since before babe's were eating food (they sat in a reclined high chair at the table). My kids don't eat much meat so their plate consists of a bite or two of the dinner meat (meatloaf, chicken breast, brisket, pot roast, shrimp, get the point) then I fill their plates with veggies (usually a few kinds) and cheese/beans/rice/potato ...fruit and yogurt are dished up but left on the counter till they've tried or consumed an adequate amount of dinner. I don't make them eat everything, but they surprisingly love some things I wouldn't guess (likewise just when I'm sure they'll eat something they turn their nose up)...I try to present all healthy options that include our meal so they have control over what they eat & I don't worry about what/how much because I know it is all healthy. We do lots of milk yogurt and PB for protein. Have you tried soup in a straw cup? My kids LOVE tomato soup. I do make fairly traditional meat, starch,salad type of meals or casseroles so they will usually try/eat. They are BY NO MEANS perfect eaters and they often have a pretty narrow diet, but at least we sit and eat together, they ask to be excused & take their plates to the sink! They've always been great eating out kids - but we take them often. I'm sure Ellen loves having Mommy and Daddy to share her meals with!! Good luck on the meal planning - I am lucky to be around home most afternoons!

Marie Hooker said...

We all eat together every night, too! Some nights I make REAL dinners, other nights we have frozen Bertoli meals or something of the sort because I just don't always have the time to get a real meal together by 6:15. We are very similar to the Krueger house- offer him what we're having and fruits/veggies/cheese/protein. Sadly, he rarely eats what we eat and tends to still only eat the fruits.
Some of my go-to meals are pork chops and potatoes, baked chicken parmesan, homemade mac n cheese, potato soup, quesadillas, etc. Happy to share any recipes you may want! Chops and chicken are super easy ones!