Heading back into school brings back memories that I would rather forget…stressing about dinner! Between work, school pickups, sports practices, and everything in-between, dinner became fu****g dinner in my mind.
I love nothing more than sitting down to a lovely meal with my family that is healthy and balanced. It would be really helpful though if anyone that lives in my house would give me some sort of hint as to what they wanted to eat! I would ask for dinner ideas and they all looked at me like I had two heads.
Once I started working, I began working until the moment that the kids walked in, or I had to head out to carpool. Once I started shuttling to soccer or baseball dinner prep got pushed to the side.
At one point I began looking into food delivery services, and even private chefs, but that didn’t end up being cost effective, nor could I find a food service delivery option that provided meals that I thought my kids would actually eat.
I began to feel overwhelmed and like I was failing at dinner. And then my husband uttered these magical words, “Honey, take some of the pressure off of yourself. Every dinner doesn’t have to be a big deal.” OMG. Why didn’t I think of that.
My meal planning now consists of looking at our weekly schedule and planning for what nights we can actually sit down as a family based on sports, my hubby’s poker night, and if I have an event for work or an occasional GNO. Those nights get full on meals prepared by me consisting of a protein, one or two veggies, a carb and usually a fruit for the kiddos as well. Since I don’t eat chicken or beef, and the men in my home are carnivores, I make sure there is overlap on all sides so we are eating foods in common.
The nights that are a bit more cray cray, when we have twenty minutes before or after a practice for example, I have taken the pressure off and we do something like:
an organic rotisserie chicken with sliced cucumbers and a fruit
breakfast for dinner, usually breakfast tacos
a bowl of matzoh ball soup picked up from the deli and carrot sticks
a turkey sandwich
organic chicken strips that my husband even gets on top of a salad
organic grilled chicken strips that come pre-cooked at whole foods that can be turned into a fajita in about 30 seconds
food from the prepared foods section at the grocery.
One extremely busy week I bought roasted turkey, flank steak and shrimp that were all pre-made and those were the choices for dinner with quinoa or lentils that I prepped on Sunday, cucumber slices or carrots, and a fruit. I also bought yummy rolls to turn the meat into sandwiches.
These options are not gourmet by any means, but they are healthy, or at least not too bad when paired with fruits and veggies. I am vowing to give my family healthy food without stressing this school year.
What can you do to make dinner a smoother situation in your home?