When I switched around milking and dinner time, I opened up the whole day. I have no idea why I hadn’t done this sooner. All of a sudden, I’ve got nothing but time. The afternoon is wide open, and the entire evening is deconflicted. There is no hurrying. After dinner, instead of hustling to get the chores done, the babies and I move right into bath time and that has made their evening routines flow more smoothly, and right now, everything is about getting Henry to sleep!
That switch forced another pleasant change, though, too. With the stretch between lunch and dinner expanded, we needed to make sure we had an afternoon snack, and so I’ve been planning for that. By planning for that snack, we’ve been actually snacking less. Everybody looks forward to whatever I’m going to serve, and everybody has been eating better at meals. This has been a long-standing problem for my little ones, especially. Thomas is an eight year old string bean. Evie had so many random snacks that she was never hungry for a nutritious meal. Henry was kind of hit or miss on whether he got fed at all!
So for these last two weeks, the meal time routines – and menus – have been undergoing some renovations, or reimagining, as my newly remodeled Target puts it. Breakfast has been pushed back to a slightly later hour. Lunch is no longer a hurried sandwich or leftovers. Afternoon snack is a mini-meal in its own right. And a small dessert is pretty much guaranteed, so much so that Evie recently pushed back her (empty) plate and said happily, “I’m ready for my scoop of ice cream now!”
Oddly enough, I’m enjoying planning for what amounts to four meals a day, plus a dessert. I’ve even taken my show on the road once or twice! Food has become the focal point of my day, and I like it that way. We’re eating more interesting, more healthful fare – more fruits, more veggies, more yogurt, less meat – and we’re not snacking outside of our one afternoon snack. Every single time we come to the table, we’re looking forward to the meal.
It’s quite a difference, really. We always sit at table and eat all three meals together, but it feels even better now, somehow.
It’s funny how one little thing can change everything, isn’t it?