Friday, August 15, 2014

Dinner for one: Eating by yourself

I know several moms who have multiple children with active schedules. Those Moms spend their evenings and weekends chauffeuring their children to various sports activities, musical activities and dance lessons. I'm always amazed by that (think of the planning and coordination that takes), and I usually have one question for them: Where do you find the time for dinner?

This is usually followed by a sigh or a slight shake of the head and an admission that it is a struggle. I've heard stories of multiple dinners, protein-filled snacks and dinner-on-the-go. There is not a simple answer.

Turns out, meals are a struggle for a lot of families. A recent study by the NPD Group report indicates that only 50 percent of families with kids eat dinner together 5 nights a week. (I sincerely hope that the rest of those families aren't stuck in a car driving between activities.)

The same study also has some interesting stats around solo dining: More than 50 percent of meals by everyone included in the study are taking place on a solo basis.

Why are we eating alone? Several reasons:
  • About 27 percent of households now consist of a single person.
  • Breakfast is squeezed into various morning routines, so people come and go from the table.
  • Lunch is based on quick and easy options.
I don't have much control of meals during the work week, although we do eat dinner together as a family almost every night. But weekends are another matter. My husband, who is a bit of a bear, usually doesn't join my son and I for breakfast. And I try to make sure we are all having at least one lunch together during the weekend. A lot of times chores just get in the way.

I like eating meals with my son. Mostly because we can bond over peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and he tells me amazing stories and crazy ideas. It's time for him to sit still and for him to have my complete attention. I don't want to lose that.

It's time to take back our meals.

What runaway meal do you want to take back control of? Tell me in the comments.


  1. Breakfast! Only because I have class in the morning so I usually don't have time to feed the both of us. So that means dropping off the little man at day care and me eating in class. I'll never eat on the road. My instructor is okay with eating in class only because I do show up on time and do all my assignments.

    1. I'm glad that you are not eating on the road! That is a bad habit of mine that I have to break!