Get the whole family involved

How can we make meal times less stressful and fun?

During my mindfulness workshop this week one of my clients was feeling anxious about next week, because her husband is going away and she knows she has a busy week at work, her son is stressed, because he has the last of his GCSE exams this week and she also has a 10 year old son who just wants to play on his Playstation all evening.

My main aim with mindfulness is to get individuals to focus on the present moment and to not think about what is happening about tomorrow, or next week, because it hasn’t happened yet and so much can change in that time. Focus on what you can control right here and now.

However, as a coach if it is also important to set goals, make them obtainable and timely if they are necessary and keep telling yourself ‘I CAN’. This stop you being negative, and stops you from procrastinating.

I gave my client several tips to make her following week a lot easier to manage, which is something everyone with children of at least age 8 plus can adopt at home to prepare them for their lives ahead:

My simple tips to make life easier

  • If you know you’re going to have a busy day, with limited time to prepare a meal in the evening, use a slow cooker. You can cook most meals in a slow cooker. You don’t have to use oil, meals can be nutritious and very tasty and you can throw all the ingredients in, leave it all day, and when you come home in the evening, the meal is ready to serve and eat.

  • Get the kids to cook on one evening a week. These days not many kids cook, and they leave home to go flee the nest not knowing how to even make beans on toast. So many kids come home from school and watch TV, or go on their Playstations and many parents just go into that ‘doing mode’ of carrying on with the cooking, and don’t even think of getting the kids involved. There is no reason why the kids can’t prepare a straightforward, nutritious meal, and they are more likely to enjoy it, because they have made it. The kids can do the cleaning up and on the other nights, the parents can do the tidying up on the night the kids cook. It works both ways. My daughter is 10 years old, and tonight she is making chicken, chorizo and vegetable kebabs, served with rice. This is easy to do, she loves the responsibility, and they are so tasty.

  • As my client’s son is finishing his GCSEs on Friday, i’ve suggested that she consider taking both her son’s to one of our local restaurants one night next week, which does an early bird offer. For the three of them to eat a 2 course meal each, it will cost £15. Not only will it be a nice celebration for her son, it will take the stress off for my client. She hadn’t even thought of this and thought it was a wonderful idea.

What are the benefits?

These are just a few ideas. The first time your child cooks, they may need a little supervision in the kitchen, but I learned how to cook from watching my mum as a child. Cooking from scratch also isn’t that difficult, just write a shopping list and make sure you have the ingredients in. This is likely to improve your well-being and waist line.

Cooking with the kids