Let’s face it, fewer families are eating dinner together. Why? Sadly, the chase for the almighty dollar, after school activities and “keeping up with the Kardashians” takes precedent. I found several different surveys that stated only 40-60% (a diverse margin) consume dinner together. Does Junior really need more “things” rather than your time?
Of course your child needs to find his/her own identity but are you doing so only to fulfill your ego (look what my kid is doing!) Think of the pressure you place on your son or daughter to be perfect, or fulfill your lost dreams!
Sitting around the dinner table used to be the best time to bond with your child and discuss their day. Now, the parent is so busy working and then picking children up after school and driving them to their next sports activity or violin lesson, that it’s easier to pick up a bucket of chicken then it is to prepare a wholesome meal. Families need to get back to basics or risk the loss of true values!
I realize that real life gets in the way, and who actually prepares a four course meal nowadays? Our culture has changed and convenience is the name of the game, but that shouldn’t give one license to eat unhealthily.
Is it actually difficult for a parent to fix dinner? NO! By the time one drives the car to the fast food destination, stands in line, pays, gets back in the car, drives home, prepares the table, changes clothes and finally eats, one could have prepared chicken cutlets, green beans, salad and baked potato and the family could help.
Another possibility is to use your slow cooker to create pasta sauces or chili so it’s ready by the time you get home. Or prepare a large salad on Monday, place in an air-tight container and it could be used for two days alongside sliced chicken or shrimp. You could also create a large pot of homemade soup on the weekend and have it ready for the work days.
Are you surprised that chili is on the list? Don’t be. Chili can be prepared with fewer calories by frying the hamburger, then placing it in a colander and sprinkling hot water over it to reduce fat and returning it to the cooker. It’ll be more flavorful because the fat won’t coat your tongue. Kidney, black, pinto and chili beans are loaded with fiber and iron. There’s no fat in green peppers, onions or tomatoes, so why is it vilified? The same can be done with a huge pot of pasta sauce and used for future recipes. It’s a heck of a lot less expensive and healthier than fast food!
To save time you could bake a chicken, turkey or roast beef for Sunday dinner with plans to create additional meals with the planned-overs. Then depending on time, you can prepare whole grain sandwiches, wraps, salads, burritos, tacos or soups when in a hurry.
It’s even okay to grill up a steak or pork chops. Simply select anything “loin” because it contains less fat than dark meat chicken. Grill kabobs with healthy vegetables while the quinoa is cooking, and you have one healthy meal.
Don’t give in to society’s peer pressure. Train your children well. You’re the parent, declare that the family eats together, instilling family values that will last a lifetime.
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)