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Meal Planning Tips 101: Dish Day & Family Meal Time

Gluten Free Lasagna, Family Meal Time

A Prep Dish favorite: Turkey Zucchini Lasagna

Dish Day!  Time for family meal time and to enjoy the meals you prepped because all of the hard work is behind you.
Meals planned & grocery list made – check!
Prep Day – completed!

This is where our motto, “Shop once, prep once, enjoy healthy, stress-free meals all week!” really comes into play. You can go into the week without meal time stress and actually look forward to family meal time.

Here are 5 tips for making family meal time even more special:

  1. Communicate an established “dinner time”
    Having a set dinner time helps set expecations and makes a committment to family meal time.
  2. Make the atmosphere fun
    This could something as simple as setting the table and actually using the dishes you have to adding flowers, candles, or holiday themes to the table. Make your table a fun and inviting place to sit down and enjoy dinner.
  3. Unplug
    Establish a “no technology at the table” policy. Give your family member(s) your full attention and show them you are interested in what they have to say. Time at the table shouldn't be interrupted by a phone or device. Neither should somebody's attention. Establish a designated area that all devices get placed before dinner and turn off the TV. If this is hard for your family, hold an Unplug Challenge with the winner earning a special prize/treat.
  4. Talk. Converse. Share.
    Use this time to share schedules for the week, catch up on the week, plan a vacation or simply talk about your favorite TV show, book, etc. If you need a conversation starter, try going aroudn the table and sharing a “win” from the day.
  5. Picky Eater?
    Try making a “kid-sized” portion of what you are eating or deconstructing the meal. For example, if you are having a salad for dinner, instead of serving it all mixed together, put the items on the plate separately. Then let them try eating with different utensils like chop sticks, shaped utensils, or  even fingers. Offer different dips for dunking as well. Anything you can do to make eating fun, casual and rewarding helps. Most importantly, never give up and always encourage. It may take your child several times with the same food before they are even willing to try. When ready, have them try 2 bites so the knee-jerk reaction is eliminated.

What do you do to make family meal time special? I'd love to hear your suggestions. Let me know in the comments below or post a pic of your family meal on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Find us in all 3 places as @prepdish!


20150217Allison025Prep Dish is a gluten-free & paleo meal planning website. Celebrity personal chef & dietitian Allison Schaaf thoughtfully crafts each plan using her own well-tested recipes.  Each meal plan allows you, the home cook, to spend only 2-3 hours preparing a week’s worth of crave-worthy, gluten-free, healthy meals using seasonal, whole foods (nothing processed!). We aim to save you time while keeping your family’s taste buds happy.

 Along with a weekly menu, you’ll get a printable grocery list and recipes for prep day — just one day of preparation yields scrumptious, good-for-you dishes all week long. Click to start

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