Research has shown that families that eat together have fewer problems with drugs, alcohol, and school issues. Families will be more open and united. This is all great advice, but it is very difficult to keep everyone at the table for longer than 15 to 20 minutes with one child rushing off to a study session, and another running late from football practice. You just have to make do with what you can. If you feel like you are losing ground, try these time busting meal ideas.
This is a method I have found to be extremely beneficial. It does not only make dinnertime so much faster, but it also prevents me from having to do a lot of cleaning following dinner. I spend the weekend preparing the meals for the week. I have seen some people purchase bins to put the meal ingredients in, I am just not that organized (yet). However, I do make sure all of the vegetables are chopped, diced, marinades are made, you get the idea. With most meals preparation is the hardest part, so, cut it out!
When it comes to preparing ahead, you can also pre-measure ingredients. I will purchase my ground beef in bulk because it is cheaper. Before freezing it, I will separate it into the amounts needed for the meals. This may mean I have 1/2 pound hamburger in one package and then two pounds in another. I always label the freezer paper with the amount and type of meat that is in the package. Finally, I write what meal it is designated for.
You can also pre-measure cheese, sour cream, and so forth with the use of small reusable bowls. Again, you will want to make sure you label the item so it does not turn into a science experiment while you are frantically searching for the original container at dinnertime.
As I alluded to in the first step, I have not used bins, but I do organize the pantry. I have a majority of the food in the pantry, and I will organize it so I know where everything is. Then, the night before, I will pull the shelf-stable items that are needed and place them in the kitchen. This cuts the time I have to spend running around after work to make dinner.