You want to spend time with your family, but doing so can be a challenge when work and other obligations take up all of your time. Sadly, many people miss out on this opportunity.

While it can be tough to find time, it’s important that quality family time is made a priority – especially during the week. Weeknight family dinners can play an integral role in your children’s health as well as your family’s relationship as a whole. The following are just a few reasons.

  • It provides the opportunity to talk: You probably go through a great deal of stress at work – just like your kids go through a great deal of stress at school. Family weeknight dinners allow you to learn about these stresses and help guide them through their challenges.
  • They perform better in school: Many studies have shown that children who spend time with their families actually do better academically.
  • It improves behavior: Often, kids act out when they feel that they don’t get enough attention or that no one cares. By eating together during the week and talking, they see that’s not true.

As important as it is, though, it can still be hard to manage with so little time. The following are just a few tips to help.

  • Make a weekly menu that includes fast and easy meals. Try to include as many slow cooker meals as you can, as this alone will cut down on your time in the kitchen.
  • Be sure you hit the grocery store at least weekly to ensure you have everything you need for that week’s meals.
  • Set a dinner time and be sure everyone knows to be there.
  • Check your menu before bed every night so that you can thaw out any meat. Many slow-cooker meals can be put on before bed or before you leave for work. Make sure that everything is in place to get the meal going.