Life too busy? Try supper swapping“We’re so busy watching out for what's just ahead of us that we don't take time to enjoy where we are.” This quote from the Calvin and Hobbes comic series has resonated with me over the years as I answer the question, “How was your day?”
By: By Crystal Hoepner, Public health, Alexandria Echo Press
“We’re so busy watching out for what's just ahead of us that we don't take time to enjoy where we are.”
This quote from the Calvin and Hobbes comic series has resonated with me over the years as I answer the question, “How was your day?”
I, along with co-workers, friends and family typically respond with the same four-letter word, “BUSY!”
I’m busy. You’re busy. We’re all busy. And when life seems busy, there is one common denominator that gets pushed to the back burner – planning and preparing healthy meals.
But we can’t give up. With so many demands on our time, it is tempting to just stop off on the way home from work and stock up on fast food or "take out" from a favorite restaurant.
There is a high cost to this lifestyle for both our wallet and our health. So there may be a solution that could work for you and your family. The concept is called “supper swapping.”
Imagine cooking only once or twice a week, but having home cooked meals for you and your family almost every night. With one or more supper swapping partners this could be possible. Home cooking not only tastes better, but it costs less, offers more variety, and is usually more nutritious than eating out. In this economy, saving money is a major benefit of supper swapping that interests families in giving it a try.
Here’s how it works. Let's say you form a supper swap group with three other families. Each family makes two meals (times four) every two weeks, so you each end up with eight dinners total for the two weeks. You make do-ahead recipes that can be popped in the oven after swapping them.
You can prepare freezer meals or meals that go right from the refrigerator to the oven. Depending on the prepared meals, you may just need to swap more frequently during the two weeks.
In a way, this represents a return to the traditional values of eating home-cooked meals at home with your family, sharing food and cooking duties with friends and neighbors, and saving money by shopping and cooking more rationally. Supper swapping works for all sorts of folks too: young couples, big families with lots of kids, empty nesters, retired couples and singles.
Start by getting to know your neighbors. Ask another friend or family member if they have trouble finding time to prepare healthy dinners. Suggest that you swap meals on a trial basis. If you work, trade meals via the office refrigerator with another co-worker.
The concept with supper swapping is to select a cooking day once a week or every two weeks and have enough home-cooked nutritious meals to cover the busy days ahead.
If this all sounds great, don't let “I’m too busy” hold you back from starting something new, something that might enrich the health and relationships of your family, and your friends’ families, in ways you can hardly imagine.