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.
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.
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.
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.
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®.
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.