Many parents find that once they finish work, pick up their children, and finally arrive at home, making dinner is the last thing they want to do. As a result, many families go out to eat, snack through dinner time, or indulge in fast food, instead of enjoying a healthy sit-down meal together. Susan Thacker, author of Supper Swapping: Cook Four Days a Month with Chefs' and Restaurants' Easy Recipes, found a solution to this common dinnertime problem. "Once our children entered school, I felt the necessity to stop eating out all the time because the kids needed the structure of a family dinner at home. However, I was always too exhausted by dinner time to pull off a meal," she confides. "I think many moms today struggle with the same dilemma. Supper swapping is a way to exchange meals with a friend so that you each have home-cooked meals and only cook once or twice a week depending on how you structure your schedule," explains Thacker.
Find other families in your child's class, ask your neighbors, or enlist extended family members who live nearby in your own supper swapping group. Thacker notes that she has been swapping meals with a friend for eight years. "It's been invaluable. I've also enjoyed the friendship and support of another mom as we've gone through the different stages of child rearing," she adds.
Getting a family back-to-school plan and reviewing how it is working for your family is the best way to stay on track. It is possible to have a stress-free transition, and it can be fun, too.