When deployment has got you down the motivation to make elaborate meals is close to nil. Which is why as dinner time approaches, we just want to hide somewhere and hope that none of the kids really wanted to eat. Instead of sentencing yourself to a lengthy prep process and a stressful meal, there are several clever things that you can do to make deployment dinners easier, faster, and more enjoyable for everyone.

Make it a Family Read-Aloud Time

Five Ways To Make Deployment Dinners Easier
deployment dinners healthy meals supreme annie spratt 5

Although not unusual for the military family, the one-parent dinnertime always feels amiss. The empty place setting becomes a constant reminder that they’re still away. To make this time of togetherness more fun and less depressing, try entertaining your crowd with a great read-aloud. This could also be a time for you all to study something new that interests you. If little sister chooses to read about volcanos one night, have big brother choose the book about whales next time. Whether you choose a favorite story, new library book, or a classic, your meal will become something for everyone to look forward to. No kids? Dust off that library card and check out a giant stack of Jane Austen romance, Stieg Larsson thrillers, and the Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. The once-daily rest from electronics will be oh-so-soothing.

Healthy Meals Supreme

Five Ways To Make Deployment Dinners Easier

Amidst the chaos of homework, school play rehearsal, and soccer practice, cooking goes quickly by the wayside. But you still need to feed these people, and yourself! Healthy Meals Supreme makes nutritious, filling, and delicious meals then ship them fresh to your door. These meals arrive completely prepared in a refrigerated state, leaving you with nothing to do but heat them up. Your magic breakfasts, lunches, and dinners will remain fresh and ready in the fridge for up to seven days, conveniently waiting for you and your hungry youngsters. It’s a complete deployment dinner time game changer. Healthy Meals Supreme employs a wide variety of delicious recipes too so you are not having the same thing every other night. Our favorites include the Hawaiian Luau Chicken and Roasted Dill Salmon, but a completely new menu created every week for you to explore. We love how this meal delivery service assures that you won’t suffer fast food overdose. Close friends and family who want to help you through this time may delight in gifting you this incredible service!

Make-Ahead Freezer Meals

An oldie, but a goodie.  Freezer meals are partially or completely prepared meals that you make in huge batches and store in smaller, meal portioned containers. The operation requires a little planning and work occasionally, but will save you tons of time during the busy week. There are a few ways of going about this. You could choose to prepare the food completely before freezing which would require more effort on the front end, but you’ll essentially just be heating it up before mealtime. With other recipes, you’ll have to cook some of the ingredients. Browned ground beef or seared chicken breasts combined with raw veggies will still cut down the total cooking time upon defrost. Even better, other recipes have you doing almost no prep work at all! Grab some gallon sized Ziplocks and get busy with these freezer meal ideas to get you started!

RELATED: Try this Okinawan Taco Rice Recipe for a yummy deployment dinner meal!

Skype with Grandma

Beat the loneliness of dinners during deployment by phoning a friend! Has it been a little while since you’ve seen Aunt Sarah or Uncle Steve? Why not have them Skype across the table with you while both sides connect over a meal? While you can’t actually break bread, you’ll enjoy catching up with each other virtually. Your friends and relatives will love supporting your family this way, without the expense of a flight or the risk of mashed potato splatters.

Breakfast for Dinner!

Five Ways To Make Deployment Dinners Easier

Every once in a while, serve everyone’s favorite meal twice! Is it possible to be sad while eating pancakes? We think not. Has cereal ever let you down before? Um, no. Whether you go this plan alone or with kids, there are plenty of ways to amp up the health factor so your plate doesn’t become one giant carb. Broccoli, mushroom, and cheese omelets are colorful, delicious, and well-rounded nutrition-wise. They make a decent canvas for ketchup smiley faces too! Most importantly, typical breakfast foods are easy to prepare in a hurry and are easy crowd-pleasers.


However you choose to go about your family’s deployment dinner times, keep it fun and low stress. Have picnics, support the local ice cream truck, and use the indoor play space at Chick-fil-A enough to keep you sane. Accept help as well. You tribe will be happy to rally around you.

WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out this article on Meals That Motivate You to Cook When Your Spouse is Gone

Five Ways To Make Deployment Dinners Easier

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