I’m in a bit of overwhelm.
I’m a week away from officially calling my two oldest kids seniors in high school (yes, twins). Throw in a brand new sophomore to boot. My “children” are not exactly kids anymore. My two boys hover over me by almost a foot and my daughter is as mature as most twenty somethings (well, most of the time).
I am living with a houseful of eating, breathing, sleeping adult like people. I feel like we are living in a dorm.
Then there is the food. The food! My grocery bill seems to have tripled in the last couple of months. I can’t seem to keep enough of it in the house. At least when the kids are are at school, I have about 8 hours of a clean kitchen.
Meal planning has always been a key component of healthy eating for me and it has become more important than ever now. There is no feeding my kids macaroni and cheese with a side of chicken nuggets while my husband and I eat the salmon with grilled vegetables. That went out the window when they were about two years old. I quickly realized the waste of my time spent making two meals and the unnecceary need to accommodate their every picky food whims. Dinner became dinner, period.
This takes some inner strength and a desire to cook. Throw in the knowing that what you are making does taste good enough to feed everybody, not just yourself and your partner. Do you know how to use herbs and spices to flavor your food? Do you have the courage to go out of your repertoire of recipes, try new things, fail miserably, take the backlash from your family (they can be brutal critics, can’t they?) and then get back up and start again? You need it when feeding a whole family.
Trying new foods has turned my kids into adventurous and creative eaters. Trust me, if I offered them boxed macaroni and cheese with a side of chicken nuggets they would probably cheer and clap like a bunch of toddlers, but I know they would quickly get tired of the same old meal.
Which is where we circle back to meal planning. They might not technically be adults but my family is eating the equivalent of five hungry grownups. If I didn’t have an airtight plan in place on a weekly basis my sanity might be gone.
Meal planning changes with the seasons, with our schedules and what we want to eat. After a season of slow cooked meals, I am on to more outdoor grilling and fresh salads. These last few weeks have been extremely busy with everyone in the house – work, finals, sports banquets, concerts, plays – and the rule right now is quick, good and healthy. This is when I fall back on my standbys that I know everyone will like, such as this Corn and Red Pepper Summer Stir Fry with brown rice. You’ll be in and out of your kitchen in no time flat and onto your next end of school event.
Need help with meal planning and eating better in a busy world? Let’s talk, I am available for consultations and coaching sessions where I teach you to take back your kitchen while eating well. Click HERE to get in touch.