Thursday, August 15, 2013

Let's Eat.

Last night I wrote about why the Kitchen Table is so important.

Tonight, I have a confession.

I've never been a menu planning, cooking and serving kind of a wife or mom.

Actually, just sitting here confessing this really breaks my heart (as I watch Joel making spaghetti and salad with homemade vinaigrette ). I have put so many things ahead of our family time that I just 'didn't have time' to get dinner planned... groceries purchased... food prepped or even cooked.

In fact, Joel has always been the chef of the house. He says he likes it, but I know deep down that he would really love to be served. Let's be honest... who am I NOT to serve my husband? He works all day and I don't even make him a lunch. :(

The past 2 mornings I did manage to get him out the door with a shake for breakfast but why am I not doing more? What is keeping me from serving him? Why am I not making sure that our girls have balanced meals and healthy snacks? Why am I lacking every domestic bone in my body?

I could keep asking why... OR... I could find tools that will help me get a plan and stick to it.

Now, this isn't my first rodeo when it comes to looking for menu plans that would work. I have tried eMeals, Once a Month Mom, Wild Tree and probably a few more. Don't get me wrong... these are great plans... just not for me. Either I didn't care for the meals (and neither did our super picky 8 year old!), it took too long to prep & remember to thaw out or was too expensive.

I've searched the internet almost all day looking for a solution that I think would really work for us. Like really work. Really!

You all know I'm a sucker for 'cute' things. I just happen to come across this website and it was love at first site... (web)site.
I could spend hours looking through all their recipes and DIYs, but I'll let you go see it for yourself.
(cute marketing right?!?)

Joel and I have been doing VERY well on the 30 days to fit Challenge (we've each lost 8 lbs in the past 2 weeks!) so some of the recipes will have to be altered for us but for the most part, all looks good and fairly good for you. If anything, this will get the creative juices flowing when it comes to meal planning. 

Another reason I want to be more proactive in the menu planning department is so that dinner time will no longer be stressful. "What should we have for dinner?" is almost like a cuss word in our house. I know that it instantly makes me feel like a bad wife and mom and it frustrates my hubby. Not because we say that, but because I usually say that around 6pm. Yikes!

I really desire dinner time to be focused on our family. I found a few interesting facts that I think you should know: (because I found them jaw dropping and think you might too)

The average parent spends 38.5 minutes per week in meaningful conversation with their children. (A.C. Nielsen Co.)

Family dinners are more important than play, story time and other family events in the development of vocabulary of younger children. (Harvard Research, 1996)

Frequent family meals are associated with a lower risk of smoking, drinking and using drugs; with a lower incidence of depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts; and with better grades in 11 to 18 year olds. (Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 2004)

Adolescent girls who have frequent family meals, and a positive atmosphere during those meals, are less likely to have eating disorders. (University of Minnesota, 2004)

Kids who eat most often with their parents are 40% more likely to say they get mainly A’s and B’s in school than kids who have two or fewer family dinners a week. (National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University)

Whoa right?!? So starting tonight, I'm making a few rules.  No TV. No electronics (including my phone!) Focus on the positives of our day. More specific prayers. 

We need to make family dinners special. More candles (even if it's battery powered or not - I'd be watching them!), more themes, maybe special napkin, glasses or place mats.

This is why I am so proud to be a Velata girl too. When the focus is all about getting family and friends gathered around a table for fun, encouragement and celebrations, you can't help but make life long memories.

So now I'm on the hunt for a new table and chairs (thank goodness the new Ikea catalog just showed up!) and loading up my printer so I can have lots of fun, healthy recipes on hand. (and did I mention they're cute?!?)



  1. I find if we sit down on Friday or Saturday and talk over a menu... it helps with getting the kids excited! You are a great mom, and wife! I know you can make it work, I have faith in you!

  2. Thank you so much for the shout out!!! :)

    The Sisters