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5 Secrets to Help You Conquer Meal Time Chaos by Happy Family Blog

5 Secrets to Help You Conquer Meal Time Chaos

This is a sponsored conversation, 5 Secrets to Help You Conquer Meal Time Chaos written by me on behalf of Red Baron® pizza. The opinions and text are all mine.

My mom has always called the hours between 5-7pm the hardest hours of the day, or the hours God forgot. Before our daughter, I did not understand. At the time, my husband I were both working at the same company so we would normally hit the gym and then eat whatever we had in the house while sitting on the couch and watching TV. Fast forward to life with a daughter. We both grew up with the tradition of a family dinners (almost) every night. We wanted to have the same tradition.

Now with a home and family of my own, I can relate to my mom’s thoughts on “the hours God forgot,” and to the new Red Baron® mascot, The Baroness. She is the ultimate #WingMama. Pizza enthusiast. Slayer of tantrums who wears patches she has earned during motherhood. Some days I am literally counting the minutes until my hubby is home from work. By the end of the day everyone is tired in our house. We have lost and found my phone 7 times and had at least one meltdown when I determine that quiet time is over and YouTube has to be turned off. It is funny how sometimes you don’t even realize you have a system for something like “How to Conquer Meal Time Chaos” until someone asks you about it. Today I want to share with you my tips to conquer mealtime chaos.

5 Secrets to Help You Conquer Meal Time Chaos

1. Meal Planning

One of my goals for 2017 was to do a better job of meal planning.  Attached you can download my Weekly Meal Planning by Happy Family Blog.  It takes about 30 minutes a week and is best done right before you go to the grocery store so you do not over-buy groceries for the week.

Pro Tip 1: Make a list of your family’s favorite meals. Everyone in our house loves pizza so we have it almost every Friday night. This is the first time we have tried Red Baron® pizza. As B said, this is the best crust! I agree with her because their Brick Oven pizza crust is uniquely crispy with a bubbly golden brown crust. Red Baron® pizza is topped with premium cheeses, robust sauce and hearty toppings.
Pro Tip 2: Keep all your go-to recipes in the same place. Some people like to store them digitally, while others need the printed versions. Do what works best for you.
Pro Tip 3: Look at the week ahead to determine if there are nights you or any family member may be eating out.
Pro Tip 4: If your family enjoys leftovers, you can either schedule a night for leftovers or plan them for lunch that week.

5 Secrets to Help You Conquer Meal Time Chaos by Happy Family Blog

5 Secrets to Help You Conquer Meal Time Chaos by Happy Family Blog

2. Meal Prep

On Sunday, we try to prep as much of our food as possible. This includes cooking some of our proteins like ground turkey and chicken breast so that I can speed up dinner prep, as well as steaming veggies like broccoli.

Pro Tip 1: Reheat your food in a toaster oven. It heats up faster and is the perfect size to heat up a dinner. Simply wrap the food in aluminum foil.

3. Get Everyone Involved 

Do your kids always want to be a special helper? Find part of the meal planning, prep and dinner that they can be involved with, from shopping, to cooking, to setting the table. For this meal, we let B pick her favorite pizza flavor from Target. She also decorated the place mats and set the table. My husband is almost always in charge of drinks. It is the last step of our meal prep.  5 Secrets to Help You Conquer Meal Time Chaos by Happy Family Blog

Pro Tip 1: Pick a low cabinet or drawer to keep dishes and cups in that you are ok with your kids using to set the table. I love these plastic white plates because they look like real dishes and they are dishwasher safe. 5 Secrets to Help You Conquer Meal Time Chaos by Happy Family Blog

4. Make it Fun

If your kids like to color these place mats are a great way to get kids involved.  I simply took a roll of craft paper and cut out place mat sized pieces of paper (if the ends curl up you can use double sided tape to hold them in place).  Once our pizza was in the oven B and I started to decorate them together.  She finished up decorating them with crayons as I pulled the pizza out of the oven.

Pro Tip 1: You can use craft paper with chalk pens and crayons or construction paper.

Pro Tip 2: Don’t forget to enter the Baroness Instant Scratch & Win Game hosted by Red Baron®.

5 Secrets to Help You Conquer Meal Time Chaos by Happy Family Blog

5 Secrets to Help You Conquer Meal Time Chaos by Happy Family Blog

5 Secrets to Help You Conquer Meal Time Chaos by Happy Family Blog

Have a Dance Party

Tired of hearing “Is dinner ready yet?’ or “When will daddy be home?” put on some music and have a dance party.  It is amazing how fast the time goes by when you have good music playing.  We have nightly dance parties.  B loves to stand in front of the oven so she can see herself dance.

Do you have any tips on how to Conquer Meal Time Chaos that we missed?

Red Baron® would also love to hear your parenting stories with the @Baroness using #WingMama on social media.

 

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5 Secrets to Help You Conquer Meal Time Chaos by Happy Family Blog

2 thoughts on “5 Secrets to Help You Conquer Meal Time Chaos

  1. ‘The hours that god forgot’ –> yes girl! So true! With three kids ranging from 4-14 these are for sure the toughest hours of the day! I’m pulled in so many different directions, we’re all tired and cranky and mom has a to do list a mile long all of a sudden! I love your helpful tips and I usually cope with the crazy by cranking the tunes and having an impromptu dance party in the kitchen (most helpful for uplifting the mood of Mom and the 4 year old ??). Thanks for sharing!

    1. Haha. They can definitely be the hardest hours. Dance party is always a good option. Thank you for reading and commenting. Looking forward to reading your post

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