Episode 132 Let’s Talk About Eating Out
Have you noticed I rarely write “dinner out” on my meal plan? It’s not because eating at restaurants is a bad thing, it’s just something my family rarely did on weeknights when I was growing up. My mom had an infinite stash of “instant meals” to use when life happened and dinner had to be on the table in a rush. When the wheels fell off, she just pulled something out of her freezer and she fed us.
Mom’s instant meals are what I call Backup Meals: something that can be on the table in 20 minutes or less using ingredients you always have in your kitchen. Having two to three backup meal options helps you avoid the drive-thru when you can’t make the dinner you had planned. Listen to Episode 69: You Need a Backup for some quick and easy ideas.
Even if you don’t see “dinner out” on my meal plan, I believe every mom needs a break from cooking at least once a week. For me, that comes in the form of a weekly family dinner hosted by my parents. Family dinner is my break from cooking and kitchen clean-up, and it’s something I can count on. Not every family has someone to host a weekly dinner, but there are lots of ways to plan a night off from cooking. Whether you pick up prepared items like fried chicken from the deli, order a pizza or go out to a restaurant, planning a night off lets you enjoy the break instead of feeling guilty about it.
Think about how your mindset shifts when you make plans to eat out. When you know you have a night off, it frees up mental space so you can focus your energy on other projects. You can work in the yard or enjoy a day out with your family without dreading the meal that still needs to be cooked when you come home tired. Writing “dinner out” on your meal plan is a good thing. Plan for that dinner out – and enjoy it!
Do you plan a night off from cooking or have a family tradition around eating out? We’d love to hear your ideas in the Feed Your Family Tonight Facebook group.
Other episodes you might like:
Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active kids. She helps busy families plan and execute weeknight dinner so they can recapture a little calm in the crazy. You can see her every week on KAKE TV’s Good Morning Kakeland or listen to the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast.
For a transcript click here.