Food PreparationWhat do you do?
As most people probably, I have changed my system over and over throughout the years. Sometimes I get on CrockPot kicks. Othertimes we have an abundance of fish that needs to be eaten and enjoyed. Sometimes it's more about getting "something" on the plate. Othe rtimes, more thought and prep time is spent. One thing that I do try to always do is make a monthly meal plan on a calendar that is on my fridge. It doesn't mean that I always stick to it but it's there as a guide. At the beginning of the month I go through my cabinets and freezer and write things down based on what I have. Some have Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, etc. but that has never worked out for us. It's a bit more random for me, but it helps to see what I have in the cabinet and what I need to shop for that month. Plus, cooking doesn't bring me joy like it does some people so this helps keep it simple and pre-planned.
Setting the tableDo you set the table every night? A few nights a week?
We do NOT eat dinner at the table every night. Gasp! :-)
We try to make Monday, Thursday, and Satruday special meal days here.
Tuesday I work and then we have wrestling so it's left overs, Wednesday is church and the kids and I have something simple like mac and cheese or sandwiches (my husband is the Youth Pastor so stays all day at church), Friday is Pizza Night, Sunday is fast food after church and then munching in the evening as we get ready for and have Home Groups at our house.
I don't set the table super fancy, but we set it nicely. Now that my little girl is older, she LOVES to make the table pretty. I mean very pretty. Way more than I would normally do, but it's her gift to make things pretty and she LOVES food and making food so that's part of it for her.
Praying for the foodDo you always pray? Do you have a more formal time of prayer? Do you keep it short and sweet? Does your husband always say the prayer or do you take turns as a family? Do you hold hands?
Alda Ellis, in her book, A Table of Grace, writes this:
"The family dinner is indeed a legancy to be passed on from one generation to the next. I believe that it is more important for our children to know who the head of the family is than who the head of the country is. So many positive things begin while seated at the dinner table - respect, good communication skills, proper table manner, the humble thanksing of God for our blessings."
Picky EatersAre all your dinners pleasant?
Ours aren't! :-) Having young children who have differing food tastes has been a challenge throughout the years. I have a son that HATES meat. I have a DAUGHTER who detests vegetables. This has lead to many battles at the table. I won't even go into all the dreary details. But we are at a place where everyone knows that they MUST try everything. I give my daughter more meat than veggies and my son more veggies than meat. At 7 and 9 we are getting at a happier dinner time food place. It's been a journey though. They both were super easy to potty train. Maybe this is payment for that? :-)
More on the gift of CONVERSATION next time...