This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of On-Cor. The opinions and text are all mine.
Dinner hour is a time we treasure in our home even when our family schedule is busy and hectic. It’s the only time of day that our family can unwind, sit together and enjoy each other’s company. I treasure our moments together at the dinner table. Over the years I’ve learned to simplify dinner time, so I no longer have to view it as a chore or as another item on my to-do list. Today I’m sharing some of my favorite tips to help you have a stress-free family dinner so you can focus on the things that truly matter.
5 Tips for a Stress-Free Family Dinner
1. Plan it
Not only will this step help you save time, it will help you save your sanity. I used to dread dinner time. Trying to figure out what to serve was my biggest hurdle. I quickly learned that my lax attitude was causing unnecessary stress. Now I schedule specific meals and ensure that I have all ingredients handy. I also use my meal plan to create my shopping list so I don’t have to make extra trips to the grocery store.
2. Prepare ahead
Preparing ahead is a great way to save time and help things go smoother. You can do this by cooking the meat in advance, separating it into dinner-sized portions, and freezing it. Once you’re ready to use your meat, simply thaw it out and add it to your dish. I also like to wash and chop veggies, so all I have to do is add them to my meal. The day of, you can also use your slow cooker to cook stews or sauces. If you plan to serve dessert, make it ahead and store it in the refrigerator. I find that most desserts can be prepared a day or two in advance without sacrificing taste.
3. Keep it simple
One way to make family meals and entertaining a breeze is to keep the meals simple. Don’t go overboard by cooking several dishes. I find that I wind up with a ton of leftovers when I do this. Pasta dishes are great since they’re easy to make and filling. During the fall season, we’re super busy juggling school schedules and sports. For busy nights when this mom needs a break, I like to leave the prep work to On-Cor so I can take care of other to-dos.
From hearty entrées to microwave favorites, On-Cor offers really good food. No frills. Nothing fancy. Just satisfying meal solutions that are super convenient. Life’s demanding enough so dinner shouldn’t be. Our personal favorite, the Lasagna with Meat Sauce. You can keep your On-Cor entrée as is, or put a personalized spin on your favorite meal, such as turning the Gravy & Salisbury Steaks into sliders, or adding chicken to the flavorful Macaroni & Cheese. On-Cor is just a freezer away for an always easy, always satisfying and always ready solution for “one of those nights.”
4. Connect with family
Not only can you connect with family during dinner, you can also do it during dinner prep. I find that this is the time of day my kids are the least distracted. While the food is cooking, I help my son get his school work organized. My youngest loves arts and crafts, so she loves it when I join her. It’s simple actions that go a long way. It’s also why I prefer to spend less time prepping meals so that I can focus more on my children.
5. Enlist help
Don’t try to tackle everything on your own. Instead, include your family in the preparations and clean up. Kids can easily help by setting the table or by helping clean up afterward. In our home, we split up all of the tasks. If I cook a meal, my husband takes care of the dishes. I also find that having a system in place makes cleaning up the kitchen and dining area a breeze. This includes having cleaning supplies and trash bags readily available. If you’re hosting family or friends, get a head start by prepping your space ahead of time. You can set up the table in advance, so you don’t have to worry about it later in the day. My son is great at wiping down surfaces and setting the table so it’s one less thing I have to worry about.
For your next family meal, enlist the help of On-Cor and head to the freezer aisle of Walmart or check out the store locator at www.on-cor.com to pick up one of On-Cor’s entrées.
Want the chance to win an awesome On-Cor Prize Pack? Enter below and good luck!
Giveaway: (1) On-Cor prize pack to give away to one lucky reader! Prize pack includes: (1) Coupon Valid for One Free On-Cor Entrée (1) Planner, (1) Lasagna Spatula, (1) Oven Mitts, (1) Timer, (1) Cast Iron Trivet (1) Puzzle or Art Project, (1) Learning Activity & Pencils (ARV: $200)
This giveaway is open to US residents only 18 and older. Giveaway ends on November 20, 2017, at 11:59 pm ET. The winner will be notified via email and must respond within 24 hours to claim the prize.