Saturday, December 28, 2013

Fast food

I get a lot of questions about how to keep so many plates spinning at once. When I talk to other moms, especially those that spend long hours outside the home, they almost all have this love-hate relationship with dinner.

Most parents want their children to eat healthy but, when time is limited, it gets tough. Got example, when I don't get out of court until 5, traffic usually has me rushing to get to the day cares by the time they close at 6. Then, we make it home, with only a couple hours before the young ones have to go to bed. In that time there is homework to be done, a meal to be made, baths to be taken, etc. That's not a lot of time. 

The solution many people come up with is fast food. It's quick. It's easy. And pretty much any kid will eat it. The problem? It's expensive. Also, it's not terribly healthy (at least the stuff my kids would want to eat). 

So...this is why fast food looks like in my house:

It's pretty simple, really. They make their salads while I open the shrimp & throw the pizza in the oven. By the time the veggies & the shrimp cocktail are gone, the pizza is done. Dinner made & eaten in a half hour, with very little cleanup. It's actually costs about the same as I paid the last time I went through a drive thru. Plus, there will be salad left over for future meals, so it goes farther. Bonus, all of this can be bought with food stamps, which is something that can't be said of the drive thru.

This is a big meal, though. What about snacks? 

When I talk to other moms, I get the impression that they feel guilty if they aren't Martha Stewart. Don't. 

Here's what a typical snack looks like at my house:

It's healthy. They love it. So, why should I feel guilty about not baking them individual quiches? 

Let yourself off the hook. The goal is to feed your family & keep them healthy. I doesn't have to be complicated. In fact, in my home, if a meal takes more than 45 minutes to make, I consider it a waste of my time. Save the gourmet stuff for special occasions. You'll likely save yourself a lot of stress that way.

If you're good at planning ahead, a slow cooker can be your best friend. I don't use mine as often as I wish I did (that whole planning ahead thing gets me), but they really are great. 

Today I made chicken & dumplings in mine. I put chicken broth, cream of chicken soup & frozen chicken breasts in. This afternoon, I dropped in the dumplings & it was all done by dinner time. All in all, I spent probably 10-15 minutes in the kitchen. 

I think I'll make chili for tomorrow. I'll put some dry beans in to cook overnight. I'm the morning, I'll put all the ingredients together & it'll be done by lunch. I've talked myself into the idea that I need to use my slow cooker more often. So, I'll probably be up late looking up recipes online. Procrastination & time wasting are not my friends but,7 yet, I still can't seem to get rid of them... 

1 comment:

  1. Those look like great meals! I just made cabbage rolls in the slow cooker. Still a bit labour intensive with the rolling so next time I think I would make lazy cabbage rolls. Just chop up the cabbage and toss it in.

    Good luck finding new recipes. Slow cookers are the best!