Thursday, November 3, 2011

Is It Supper or Dinner?

You know, that meal you eat at the end of the day, the one that tends to be the biggest one of the day?  Around here, we’ve always called it supper.  Unless you’re eating at a restaurant, and then it’s going out for dinner.  Semantics aside, soon we will be enjoying this meal at lunch!

It occurred to me yesterday, “ Why am I trying to cook a large meal at the most stressful time of the day?!”.  I couldn’t come up with a real answer, besides, of course, that is what we’ve always done.  In our families, and probably most of yours too, the big meal is the one at the end of the day.

This wasn’t always the norm, though.  People haven’t always eaten a quick breakfast, dashed off to their days, stopping for a quick break mid day and returning home to the large meal.  For long amounts of time, breakfast, or the noon meal was the largest.

Our family is going to give this shot, and here’s why I think it will work for us.  Firstly, Shawn comes home for lunch anyway, so we’re all here.  We’ll be consuming our calories before we need them, especially Shawn who burns a gazillion calories working a labour job outside year round.  Instead of loading up our systems at the end of the day and then feeling stuffed at night, we’ll use the energy we get from the food.  I can cook and do chores first thing in the morning, when no one around here is alert enough to want to concentrate on anything anyway.  Then, after a nice meal, the two little ones can have a nap, and we’ll settle in to some school work.  I’ll be able to concentrate on lessons, because the work for day will be done, and I won’t be distracted by having to make a meal.  I won’t have to juggle tired kids and cooking at that hour that always seems to be the most stressful around here – 4:30.  When Shawn gets home, we can have a smaller meal, which for us was usually left overs anyway.  If he’s late, we won’t have over-tired and over-hungry kids melting down.  When we have evening activities, we won’t be in as much of a rush, since the quick meal takes less prep and less clean up.  When the evening activity is sports, the kids won’t have to run ( or dance) around on very full tummies.  I think we’ll end up feeling as though we have more family time in the evenings to do something together.

I’m sure it’s going to take a while to get used to not having the large meal at night, and we may feel really snackish the first couple days.  I’ve stocked up on lots of healthy finger foods to help us top up if we feel hungry.

Well, this is what I think is going to happen.  I’m trying to find ways to re-order my day to feel calmer and help me get things accomplished.  I’ll let you know how it goes!


  1. I think that's a great idea. That's the way they fed us at Bible School, and it was awesome. All your points are very valid! As long as you can stick to a lighter meal at supper and not feel like you have to make something bigger than a sandwich or something simpler/lighter for the supper meal. I think it'll be great for you - good luck!!! :)

  2. A reasonable idea. The only obstacle is arbitrary social convention, a factor greatly mitigated by both your social group and your schooling choices.

  3. I actually had considered the social factor. I'm sure there will still end up being nights we choose to have a big meal because we've invited company over. I guess on those days we'll have a light, or medium lunch since we'll be used to eating then. We really like to cook around here, and we love to entertain and have company for meals. I just think it will free me up during regular days. We're giving a shot, anyway.

  4. That is awesome. My parents have been doing it for several years and actually my husbands doctor recommended that for his diabetes that the best way to eat is with the big meal in the middle of the day.

    I hope it works great for you. It is awesome when you can make these things work.

  5. Interesting idea. You know, the word 'dinner' technically refers to the largest meal of the day. Hence why it has been used to refer to all three meals through time; breakfast, brunch, lunch and supper. It was mostly used by farmers/harvesters who would be on approximately 15 men crew who woul typically have all four meals, with brunch or lunch being the largest of the day.

    So you're not crazy, just old school.



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