5 Tips for a Stress-Free Family Dinner

Cooking your family dinner can be so stressful.  Those dreaded words:  What’s for dinner?  Is dinner almost ready?  I’m hungry!


Meanwhile, I’m trying to get dinner started, clear the table, wash dishes, check homework, start a load of laundry because someone wants to wear their favorite shorts tomorrow.

Here’s how I’ve learned how to handle the craziness.

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5 tips for a stress-free family dinner

5 Tips for a Stress-Free Family Dinner

1.  Organize your family dinner with meal planning

Yeah, I know you’ve heard it before, but I’m not talking about anything extensive or super organized.  That’s not how I roll.  Just know what is happening that week.  That’s half the battle right there!

  • Stress-saving Tip:  Subscribing to $5 Meal Plan is a super easy way to save time and major stress during dinnertime.  They send you weekly meal plans and money-saving grocery tips so you never have to wonder “What’s for dinner?”

2.  Prep healthy pre-dinner snacks

A great tip is to prepare yourself for little piggies who will “starve to death” before dinner.

I prep super quick, healthy snacks ahead of time, like:

  • cucumber sticks
  • edamame
  • baby carrots with hummus or ranch dip
  • apple slices
  • grapes
  • cheese cubes

5 tips for a stress free family dinners

It’s ready to go so I just put it out, even before they ask for food.  It’s healthy, so even if they fill up on it, it’s fine.  I won’t be upset about then eating too many carrots.

3.  Ask for help!

Moms can do anything… but they can’t do everything.  When we get in the door after school, my kid’s empty their lunch boxes, wash their containers, and put it away.  It takes them less than 5 minutes, but it saves me time and stress while preparing our family dinner.

It’s a great time to teach the kids to be more responsible.  They can:

  • set the table
  • put some ingredients away for you
  • wash dishes while your cooking

stress free family dinners

I also ask my hubby for help.  If I have too much on my plate, I’ll ask him to cook, or get dinner started.  Sometimes I’ll just ask him to preheat the oven, or start boiling the water for pasta.  Even small things are a big help.

4.  Put on some music

I love playing music while I’m cooking our family dinners and cleaning.   It’s relaxing, helps me block out distractions, and it helps me focus on one thing at a time.

Before I know it,  the whole family is singing along too.  It definitely lightens the mood in the kitchen.

5.  Wine.  Enough said.

Just kidding (sorta).  Whatever your guilty pleasure is… indulge!

  • chocolates
  • wine
  • potato chips

stress-free family dinner

You deserve it!  It’s a small way to treat yourself, while you’re slaving away in the kitchen.

There you have it!  If tips 1 through 4 don’t help you, just repeat #5 and you’ll be fine.

I’d love to hear how you deal with family dinners at your house!

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