Good tip from Rach to get the family to try new veggies! I am not above hiding veggies in certain foods, ie veggies in pizza sauce, but isn't it even better when you try a new twist on a recipe that gets everyone actually admitting they're eating that ingredient? I recently tried Rach's Kale Caesar salad where she makes a traditional Caesar salad fressing, but tosses it with chopped kale and romaine instead of just romaine. It's delicious because the kale really can stand up to that dressing! I grew up thinking kale was the purple decorative plant outside people's homes, and while yes it is indeed, it is also a very delicious green veg. I prefer the kind they call "dinosaur kale" or "lacinato kale", which is flat and dark green. Plan B Mom, what deceiving tricks do you have up your sleeve?
What I am finding is that my son seems to have a meltdown hour, still at 8 years old! I happens around 4 or 5 every night and I am thinking this is when total exhaustion hits him because of course after dinner he is full of energy and can't get to sleep. I like your idea of giving them a real snack after school and then maybe a lighter dinner. I recently tried to sign my son up for basketball from 5-6 and he just couldn't make it through that first hour without crying. I thought fruit after school would be enough, but you have to also assume that they might not be eating everything you pack them for lunch so by 4 or 5 look out!
I totally agree. We actually don't eat until 7 most nights - my kids are starving when they come home from school and they usually have something pretty substantial - a bagel, cereal with milk, a sandwich - so they are fine waiting until then. I also do a lot of double duty meals so i will cook a lot of chicken breasts one night that I serve with rice and a vegetable, and then we will have chicken paninis the next night - no real cooking and I can throw them together in about 10 minutes.
You mentioned dessert - do your kids have dessert every night? I know my kids do (take after their mother), plus I am able to use it as leverage for them to get tasks done (ie, no dessert until they practice piano, shower, pick up their rooms, etc.). However, I know a lot of families who never have dessert or only on special occasions and think we are hedonistic over here.
Trying to start the year off by eating more meals together as a family-I am not home from work by 5:30, which is when my kids like to eat dinner. I feel bad making them wait for me, which may mean eating at 7:30, by the time I get home and cook the dang meal, but honestly, I don't mind it. They can have healthy snacks before I get home to stave off hunger, and the chance to sit around the table together, eating my home cooking and talking about our days is priceless. It's so worth it! Weekends are obviously not a problem because we are together all the time, but during the week, I am finding that this is am important ritual. Now, if they do eat without me, I can also convince them to sit with me while I eat and they can have dessert. As long as we have that time together, that's the most important thing.
I finally worked through my meatball issues and found the perfect recipe. For luscious and easy meatballs and sauce-delicious the day it's made and easy to freeze-read my latest blog.
A PS to this - so many moms are exhausted and think that's just the way life is. A friend of my ignored her extreme fatigue and it turned out to be severe anemia, which is also common in women. Ladies - listen to your bodies!
Here's a PSA for moms especially, at your annual check up, get your thyroid checked. I was exhausted, even after a good night's sleep, had gained some weight and was feeling really down in the dumps and wouldn't you know it but I have a sluggish thyroid. This is not uncommon, over 57 million Americans suffer from this, and it can be treated with medicine, which I am hoping will help me get some energy back!
Of course it is important to eat right and stay healthy and it has often been questioned if stress plays a role in affecting the thyroid. This is not proven, but we all know that stress takes its toll on the body so keep that in mind when prioritizing things.
Now that is adorable - great idea. Back to no-bake desserts, my all time favorite is still the Famous Chocolate Wafer Cake - store-bought chocolate cookies and whipped cream? Can it get any easier?
I am definitely making Christina's cupcake creation for the fourth. How cute is this?
I cooked all weekend last weekend, to the point where it was a bit too much. But read my blog on some easy dessert ideas and the one on leftovers. I definitely learned some lessons on how not to throw away food! My favorite? This Banana Crea, Pie which takes no time at all to make and is always a hit!