Inspired by an NPR Here and Now segment with Kathy Gunst
Disclaimer: I have prepared very little food since college. It's not an activity I learned to enjoy, and people are rarely enthusiastic about the meals I prepare for them. I know this isn't "normal", and I have my excuses. Still, there are some ideas below that might help you.
Yesterday morning a (6 min) NPR radio segment caught my attention; it was called, "Easy Recipes To Try When School Starts Up And Time Tightens". NPR's Here and Now resident chef, Kathy Gunst said, "If you hate making dinner, you gotta shift your head first." That got me thinking.
What if everyone in the family was on the look-out for good recipes? What if everyone in the family was incented to improve the efficiency of meal prep? What if everyone had to figure out which meals needed to be served on-the-go to accommodate activities and commitments?
How would that look like in the future? Would your kids complain about this forced family time and how it harmed them? (They might!) Or maybe they'd have a collection of memories that others would envy. Maybe they'd learn valuable teamwork skills. Maybe they'd become especially hospitable as college students and adults. Could this serve them well as guests, spouses, or friends in the future?
I wouldn't know. I don't have these skills, and we didn't go this route. But, if we had it to do all over again, I think we might give this a try.