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​Getting Back to the Basics of Family Dinner

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My wife is an incredible cook. She has been making food from scratch since she was a little girl and growing up, it was a regular activity she took part in with her mother. It was such a major part of family time that my mother-in-law left my wife her coveted Bosch mixer when she became too frail to cook any longer.

For many years, that mixer didn’t get much use. Jobs, kids, after school activities, homework...there was a lot taking our focus and we were lucky if we had a meal together once a week as a family. But about three years ago that changed.

A Change In Attitude

My oldest son has some behavioral problems due to RAD. For the most part it has been under control since he was a young teen, but we started to notice certain elements of his condition returning. Not only that, but we were noticing some odd things in our other children. They were irritable, lacking focus, unhappy, wife and I were feeling the strain as well.

You probably see where this is going. Our constant eating out and packaged freezer foods were taking a toll on us all. Not only that, but we were becoming more and more disconnected from one another. Something had to change.

Getting Back To Basics

My wife and I had always known we were doing something unhealthy but we justified it by how active we all were. When we started to see the signs, we decided enough was enough. It was time to make some changes and get back to the basics of healthy eating, as a family.

The first thing that happened was my wife pulled out that mixer again, as well as crock pots, freezer bags and lots of organic, whole food ingredients. She and I resolved to make Sunday night “Meal Prep Night” and to get the whole family involved.

How Our Entire Family Participated In Meal Prepping

Every Sunday we make meals for lunch that can be put in the fridge in individual servings. We make a large portion of six meals that can be frozen in batches. Then we get the ingredients prepped to make quick, but nutritious, breakfasts every morning before work and school.

Afterward we make a list of meals for the next week so on Saturday my wife and I can go to the store and buy the ingredients needed for the next Meal Prep Night. Saturday nights we go out to eat.

The biggest change isn’t the food we are eating, though that is a big one as well. It is that we sit down for breakfast and dinner every night, no phones or distractions, enjoying the meals we made together.

As for lunches, no more junk bought in cafeterias or fast food drive throughs. We have healthy options in tupperware sitting in the fridge, customized for each of us.

The effect this has had on our moods, energy levels and sense of closeness has been immense. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to get back to the basics of family dinner.

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