The Four Pillars of Family Eats

by Laura on September 12, 2010

in Blog

We’ve been writing, newsletter-ing blogging and twittering for some time now and feel it is time to revisit what we call the Four Pillars of Family Eats: Planning, Purchasing, Preparing and Consuming.

Here at Family Eats we know it is hard to get a healthy meal on the table every day. We know about the challenges of living within a budget while trying to give the best to ourselves and our family. We know the importance of eating healthy foods. We know life can throw us curveballs, and blow any of our plans. We know how easy it is to grab some take-out, drive-through, or prepared meals for dinnertime. We know life can be exhausting, so we look for quick, convenient fixes to make our days go more smoothly.

So many things pull our attention – from the kids to work to afternoon activities and our own exhaustion. We’re constantly asking ourselves, “How can we do this? Can we just sit down and not think or move for just 10 minutes.” Our families chuckle and tell us that we’ll get 10 minutes to ourselves in 15 years when all the kids are out of the house. We don’t find it so funny, but we know that they’re probably right. So, we look for ways to make life more manageable in those 15 years, when we turn into weeping Empty Nesters, wishing we had the kids still running around the house.

One of the biggest challenges we face when it comes to feeding our family is time. Also ranking up near the top of our list are lack of energy and the sometimes non-existent inspir ation to fix a meal.

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There are days that I spend most of my time in the kitchen – preparing snacks and meals, along with trying to get ahead by making bread for the week, or snacks to have on hand for the weekly lunches – that I feel as if I never want to go back in.

Then there are days when I’m totally in the groove and ahead of the game when it comes to feeding the family.

Right now I feel I have it pretty much under control, but there was a time not long ago that I struggled with the frustration that came every day when the kids would ask, “What are we having for dinner?” It was that dreaded 4:30 in the afternoon time when everyone is tired and getting hungry that would drive me to the point of tears.

The problem was that I was still using my single life tactics. Open the refrigerator, peek inside, and then pull something together. That formula, which worked so well when I was single, no longer works when I’ve four young kids clamoring for a meal . . . a meal that would pass their muster.

Just as I would do when I was single, I would also find myself wandering through the grocery store, looking at what was on the shelf, in the deli case and at the meat counter, then trying to piece together meals for the coming week. I’d come home with loads of grocery bags and a lot less money in my pocket. At the end of the week, the fridge would be filled with a lot of containers of leftovers, and something undecipherable in the veggie crisper. We tossed a lot of food into the garbage.

This had to stop. I had to wrangle my single ways and regroup. I needed to figure out how I could lessen the dilemmas, stress and put a positive spin on shopping and feeding the family.

We eventually came up with a list of the things that I could focus on that would help better our relationship with food and our family.

Greg and I began to brainstormed and jotted down the following:

  • Better planning
  • Better purchasing habits
  • A focus on recipes that would be easy to prepare
  • A dedicated time when we would all sit down and partake that meal – together.

 

We have found that by focusing on these steps:

    • Planning

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    • Purchasing

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    • Preparing

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    • Partaking

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– we have created a much more enjoyable relationship with mealtime – and the process is one that the entire family enjoys.

In the coming months, we have exciting things emerging at Family Eats, focused around the pillars of Planning Purchasing Preparing and Consuming. On each article, new icons will appear, so that you’ll know which Pillar (or pillars) that specific article addresses. We’ll also be more proactive in providing tips and ideas on how to get yourself into the habit of thinking about the Pillars.

Additionally, we are in the process of developing some great programs that will help inspire you to make a change in the kitchen.

Whether it is a collection of tips for getting through the holidays, how to make the transition from conventional to organic products, or ideas and inspiration on how to make family mealtime a priority, Family Eats will provide you with information needed to take make a change.

We hope that you will join us on the journey as “We change our relationship with the food we eat and the family we love.”

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