“There has to be a way to make this easier.”
This was our inspiration to create tools and resources to help parents feed their families. We hope that the Table365 System for Feeding Your Family and our weekly posts on Inspiration, Basics, and Q&A, have made it easier for you.
Starting a new calendar year is always a natural time for reflection on the past and planning for the future. The start of this new year marks a new direction for Table365, too. This is the 144th week of Table365 posts, and over five years of planning and content creation for Kimberly and me. It is also our last post in this iteration. We are tabling Table365. We are pleased with the depth and breadth of content, and will be focusing our interests in food, nutrition, education, and inspiration in other ways at this time.
We hold firm to the belief that it is more important to eat together as a family than to cook every night. We were very deliberate when we started Table365 that our focus was on making it easier to feed your family rather than on cooking for your family. Sometimes we cook, sometimes we compile, sometimes we just get takeout. Our emphasis is on quality and value, including quality time with those you love.
The lessons we learned from Table365:
- That there is a great need and desire to make it easier to feed our families and ourselves healthy, convenient meals.
- That convenience trumps health for many people when it comes to eating and feeding your family.
- We enjoy being educators and get a lot of pleasure from sharing inspiration.
- The solutions that make it easier to feed your family are rather simple but take discipline, and therefore are hard to implement.
- It is always possible to improve. You get the chance to do better each new day and week.
Things that have improved for feeding your family since Table365 started:
- Multitude of new on-line resources: blogs, Pinterest, apps, and websites to support meal planning and preparation.
- Cookbooks and informational books on meal planning and recipes specifically for families, focused on fast and simple meal preparation.
- Much more education and focus on healthier eating.
- Healthier alternatives more readily available (warehouse stores, grocery chains).
- Grocery and meal delivery.
- Healthier food choices in schools.
- Healthier vending machines.
- Many more farmers markets and co-ops for local and natural foods.
- Focus on fewer processed foods.
- Less hormones and additives in meat, poultry, and dairy.
- New emphasis on eating less sugar and sugar substitutes.
The future belongs to all of us:
- Vote with your fork and your wallet–at the grocery store and restaurants.
- Use convenience tools (grocery delivery, prepared nutritious meals) to help feed your family.
- Start your children on a lifetime of healthy eating by providing nutritious and delicious ingredients and meals.
- Use the new tools and technologies to support the basics: make a meal plan; make a shopping list; stock the pantry, refrigerator, freezer; prep foods once a week; double batch; make ahead.
- Look for inspiration and support in the big job of feeding your family. See this week’s Q&A for inspiration ideas.
With enormous gratitude to the many people who made Table365 a reality and a success:
- Our hundreds of weekly readers and Facebook friends.
- To our playgroup friends who inspired the creation of Table365; and all the parents who gave us valuable feedback in focus groups.
- Our clients and families who used Table365 for in-kitchen consulting.
- Professor Mark Allison, Ph.D.–for the hundreds of commas added and deleted over years of posts.
- Anthony Perez–keeping Table365 beautiful with design, branding, and visual creative direction.
- Brett Grossman–marketing, tech support, and good humor.
- Community partners: My Mercer Island, MI Food Revolution, MI Preschool Association, MI Community Foundation, MI Farmers Market, Olde Worthington Farmers Market.
- Chef Michael Jones, Local Matters.
- The four little monkeys: J, S, R, and V who we feed every day.
- The guest interviews: Jennifer Smith Miller, Confident Parents Confident Kids; Teri Estensen, NEST.
- Our professional team: Roger Reynolds, Scott Hunt, Carie Lorensen, Devon DeLapp, Liz St. Andre, Matt Ramora, Amelia Greim, Anne Foster.
We sincerely appreciate your participation, input, inspiration, and interest. Thanks for taking the Table365 journey with us. Keep in touch and stay delicious!
With our very best wishes for your continued health and happiness,