James Vaughan via Compfight

Summer has arrived.

I know this because we are not waking up at 6am, jamming the homework that just barely got done last night into a backpack and running out the door at the exact moment we need to – without a minute to spare.

I also know this because I am reminded that children who are at home, need to be fed, AGAIN!

They are hungry.  They want breakfast.  They want a snack.  They want lunch.  Can they have a cookie?

And, when is dinner?


That tyrannical despot that shows up every evening.  He is the item on the list that NEVER gets checked off.  The bully on the playground that gets away with everything when the teacher isn’t looking.

I want to say “I don’t know what we are having for dinner.  And, I don’t care.”  Turns out, I REALLY don’t care.  But, I do know that somehow, someway, there has to be a plan for dinner.

And each and every night, I am the one who is going to make it happen.

Truthfully, when I am standing in the shower at 7:30am wondering what we will have to eat at 6:30pm that night, I wonder where I went wrong.  Perhaps, I should have trained my children to behave like bears and eat just once per season?

Or, I could institute a “grab n’ go” night.   You close your eyes, open the fridge, and whatever you grab, you get to have for dinner while standing over the sink.  This is the way I ate every night in college – and it’s a real time saver!

In fact, this notion is similar to something a friend of mine came up with for her family, called “Get Your Own Damn Dinner,  Night.”

I am not that annoyed with dinner yet, but give me time.

Let’s face it – the moment you sit down to check your emails or do your work, it is time to make dinner.  While everyone else is doing homework or still at the office, you have to stop what you are doing to sauté onions.

The onions are getting what they need, but how about you?

Are you with me?  Are you ready to make this a little better and get that ogre off your back?  Do I hear you rattling your pots and pans in agreement?

Coach Me Quick Tips for Getting Dinner On The Table:

1.     Have a leftover night.  Put everything out on the counter – and let the family negotiate.  They get fed.  You don’t cook.  And, they learn to negotiate – which will help them buy a car later in life.

2.     Have your family write a list of the dinners that they like and will happily eat – and then, hold them to it.

3.    Make the same 3 meals over and over again.  Your family will start offering to help you.

4.    Have your family plan a week of dinners AND make the shopping list.

5.    Have a couple of “go-to dinners” in your repertoire that include ingredients you always have on hand.  For example Pesto and Pasta.  Easy to have a ready-made pesto in the fridge.

6.    Whether you plan the dinners, or your family does, make sure you know what you are having before the week starts so that you can think of something more interesting in the shower each morning.

7.    When you make something like soup, double it and freeze it.  Always have a good crunchy bread on hand to go with it when you pull it out in an emergency.

8.    Train your children to cook.  Have them take turns doing simple dinner-related tasks.

9.    Buy ready-made food at Trader Joes.  (The chicken-less chicken is delishin!)

10.   Get a lap top in your kitchen so that you can follow up on emails etc. while things are cooking.

11.   Take a look at some cook books and find something that piques your interest.  Cooking can be fun.

12.   Do not worry what your children will or will not eat.  If they don’t eat it – they make their own (damn?) dinner.

Writing my blog instead of planning dinner, in LA, (I already know it’s quiche)


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