Rethink the Division of Work at Mealtime

There was a time in our not-so-distant past when mom prepared, served, AND cleaned up after a meal while the family waited, dined, and departed from the table. It’s just the way things were. Oh my, how times have changed. It’s time to rethink the division of work at mealtime.


Times Have Changed

Today’s dynamics of home life have changed with working parents and changing roles within, in the household.

And it’s time to change how we think of the division of work needed to ensure that we all answer well the most important question of the day, “What’s for dinner?”.

Instead of laying the mealtime burden on the shoulder’s of one person, everyone in the household should be involved.

The evening meal should be “All hands on deck” as the old sailor’s expression goes.  Only in this case, the “hands” are your family’s, and the “deck” is your kitchen and dining space.

With everyone participating in the evening meal process from developing the menu to grocery shopping, preparation, setting the table and clean up there are fewer squabbles over who is doing more or less in the household.

And when everyone has a chance to make food selections, there’s less protest over what’s on the menu.


The Division of Work at Mealtime Begins With Grocery Shopping

Get your children involved in grocery shopping. Teach them how to pick out the best fruits and vegetables or the difference in price and application between a whole chicken and a package of chicken breasts.

In the kitchen, there are lots of jobs, from washing and cutting vegetables, to prepping the meat for cooking, and making a salad dressing.

And don’t forget that the kitchen is also a great venue for practicing math skills and a fun way to learn about chemistry and physics as food is transformed with heat.

Remember too that it’s never to early to introduce your kids to the joys of cooking your own food.


It Moves to the Table

As the food is cooking, someone needs to set the table.

And who will say the blessing?

After the meal, remember that lots of hands on deck make short work of clean up.

There are age-appropriate tasks for everyone in your crew.


Think of the Camaraderie and Conversation to be Had!

Imagine the conversation and comradery that time together cooking and enjoying your evening feast will generate.

So gather all your “hands” on your “deck” and get your ship moving in the right direction this week.

White plate with a sage colored napkin lying the center tied twine and adorned with a single sage leaf. The plate is sitting on a wooden table with a fork, a glass, and a white bowl.

Never again wonder what's for dinner.

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