As any parent who works a full-time job and comes home knows, dinner time can be stressful. For me, I worry about prep time quite a bit and that honestly factors greatly in what I decide to make for dinner each night. Of course, other things factor in too such as: how tired is mom, how creative is mom, how bored lis mom with the fall back meals, and, can mom get away with ordering out yet again?
Photo: A paper plate sits on top of a colorful carpet. The plate contains dinosaur chicken nuggets and barbecue sauce. A cup of fruit and a spoon lie to the left of the plate.
As some of you know, I recently left my job of ten years at the LightHouse for the Blind in order to start my own business as a confidence coach and consultant. This means I work from home, but it doesn’t make dinner time any easier. I thought it might, and perhaps one day down the road meal time might be healthier, more creative, and less boring. One can dream, right?
The one thing about dinner time that has changed along with my career change is the fact that we eat out less often. This is truly a good thing … definitely healthier on the wallet and healthier for our tummies. Over the years, I’ve done little things to make meals yummy, kid friendly, and healthy-ish. Instead of ordering Pizza Hutt or Dominos, we get frozen pizza. Frozen cheese pizza can be jazzed up with all kinds of things from our pantry and our fridge like black olives, ham, salami, roasted broccoli, leftover chicken, barbecue sauce, etc. The struggle is finding toppings that three kids can all agree on.
I have no shame going straight for the dinosaur chicken nuggets with a side of fruit for dinner. Recently, we tested out a bag of sweet potato fries, but they take almost 30 whole minutes to crisp up, and that’s more than I’m willing to deal with when all three kids are trying to sneak snacks out of the pantry because they are STARVING TO DEATH!
Rice and beans are popular in our house. Fortunately, they make a complete protein, and rice and beans are easy to jazz up. Toss a little shredded cheese on top for some dairy. Or, spice it up with some salsa. We’ve even tried some fruity flavored salsa to great joy. If rice and beans in a bowl is boring, try wrapping it in a tortilla with cheese of course. Now you have a delicious BRC burrito, just like El Pollo Loco!
A few months ago, we had a ton of avocados gifted to us. I discovered, to my great delight, that my oldest son fell in love with my quick dinner of rice with garlic and sliced avocadoes on top. He asked if I could make it weekly. And of course, if he likes something, his brother and sister like it too. This concept also, and often, goes the other way where he dislikes something. Ugh!
I’d love to hear from you about kid friendly dinners that work in your household.
Signing off for now,
Bay Areab Blind Mom