Let the caveats begin…

O.K., so I don’t live in 1950. And I am not totally crazy. So here are the caveats to my One Dinner rule:
1. Cooking and eating one dinner doesn’t mean we all eat at the same time. I work some nights. My husband can’t get home to eat with the kids at 5:30 (when they are starving). So I cook once, and we all eat the same thing, but it is often at different times. Most nights I eat with the kids and then my husband eats the same meal later. Some nights the kids eat with the babysitter and me and my husband eat later. Doesn’t matter, as long as the kids know I am not a short order cook, they can’t ask for whatever they want, and they know we all eat the same thing.
2. I am blessed to have allergy-free, health problem-free children. Obviously this makes it much easier to eat the same thing. Even if your children have allergies or health concerns that require a specific diet, you can still utilize the principles here. Try eating all together as much as possible. Try sharing at least some of the meal, with exceptions made for the family member with special dietary needs.
3. Give yourself a break. This is the essential caveat. We give the kids one night a week to choose whatever they want for dinner. Fridays are “kids’ choice” nights, and then the grown-ups do take-out later. This is key to the kids buying into eating whatever I make them the rest of the nights. And it is key to knowing I will have a night without whining or drama at dinner. There are weeks when work is busy, the kids are sick, and dinner is whatever I can find in the house. We just try to get back into the swing of things the following week.

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