Shelleyrae at Book'd Out's Reviews > Dinner for Busy Moms: Easy Strategies for Getting Your Family to the Table

Dinner for Busy Moms by Jeanne Muchnick
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Jan 23, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: netgalley-reviews
Read on March 06, 2011 — I own a copy

It was always my plan to have my family eat dinner at least a few nights a week at the table together, but despite my best intentions it has never really been sucessful. Juggling the schedules of four picky eaters aged 4 - 14, mine and my husband's work hours and commitments make it almost impossible. Most nights I cook up to four separate meals. My younger kids won't eat this, my husband won't eat that, my oldest daughter isn't home from training until 2 hours after dinner etc *sigh*
Dinner For Busy Moms is a practical guide to making mealtimes less stressful and treat it as quality time for the family. There are tips and strategies to work with most situations and involving almost every age group. While the book emphasises the positives of a family meal time, the author is careful to repeat that it is more important to find what works for your family than place it under more pressure. Ideally of course every meal would be a family occassion but if you can manage only a night or two a week, or even a month, then the author recommends you do that. I appreciate the motivational tone the book maintains through out.
Along with the helpful tips for getting the family to the table, the book includes strategies for planning and prepping meals. I can attest to the success of meal planning - with such picky eaters in the family planning ahead works well for me. I have a 4 week schedule that repeats itself. There are some nights when meals get swapped or subbed or we get takeway instead but it saves me a lot of time and worry over nightly menus. I always use a shopping list (once it was paper, now its an app) and since I know what I need I can make real savings when something is on special. Dinner For Busy Moms also covers things like reading food labels, food safety and online resources. There is a small collection of recipes, meal ideas and basic cooking tips, but it's not the focus of the book.
What I really liked best about Dinner for Busy Moms is I now feel a lot less guilty about the days when I give up and allow one of the kids to have peanut butter sandwiches and an apple for dinner while the others eat the homemade rissoles that took me an hour to make, or when I am just too exhausted to cook and everyone has a big bowl of (no sugar)cereal. I am really glad to find I am not the only mother who does this!
Dinner for Busy Mom's is a motivational book for parents who are struggling with meal times, I know I have already chosen a night, time and menu for a meal at the table with the entire family this week which I hope to continue.

Ive added a recipe on my blog that other busy moms might like www.bookdout.wordpress.com

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