As a working mom, business owner & mother of 3 1/2 year old twins I am deep in the family dinner challenge. My husband and I want delicious, nutritious and interesting dinners that are easy to make (sound familiar?), while my kids would be satisfied with a tall glass of milk and 7 blueberries. However, my New Year’s resolution was to stop the short-order cooking, help my kids learn to enjoy eating healthy and have fun trying new things, all while taking the stress out of meal time. Surprisingly, it hasn’t be quite as hard as I thought it would be, mostly thanks to G&G! Not only are our kits fun for the kids to participate with, they make dinner in 30 minutes or less possible, and keep my husband and I happy with delicious, healthy dinners.
A few of my tips and tricks for feeding my family:
Cook with G&G!
Many of our meal kits are already family friendly and if not, are super simple to modify! If there’s a veg the kids won’t like I may sub in some frozen peas or carrot sticks to keep it well rounded. From this week’s menu my family will be ordering:
- Brisket & Gouda Quesadillas: Leave the mushrooms out of their quesadillas, serve with orange & avocado slices instead of the frisée salad.
- Rustic Ricotta Gnocchi: Serve as is! Or for pickier eaters, make a butter & parmesan sauce instead of using the ragu and add some carrot sticks on the side.
- Peruvian Chicken Skillet: The herbed green sauce could be a winner, but if not, just leave it off of the kids’ portions and they’ve got a yummy, kid-approved meal of chicken with roasted carrots & potatoes.
- Sheet Pan Beef Kebabs: Because whats more fun than meat on a stick?! Skip the spice in their ground beef skewers and serve with roasted veggies. Encourage them to try the kale (knowing they may just pick around it). I like to call the turnips “white pumpkin” and for some reason that works in our house!
Plan for Some Chaos
Cooking Just for Fun
A la carte kits are so fun for our family - they’re often items we cook together on the weekends for a more leisurely cooking activity rather than for dinnertime. From whipping up the homemade ice cream in the Bananas Foster kit to mixing up the bright pink glaze on the Blood Orange Bread kit, making something delicious on the weekend is a must-do for us!
Master Chef Junior
My kids love to help me in the kitchen and are aspiring Junior Chefs. If there was ever a competition for dumping spice packets into bowls, I assure you they’d be champions! Engaging them in age appropriate activities and talking about what we're cooking makes meal prep more fun and gets them excited about what they’re about to eat.
Well, not really with sugar... Just make it sound more appealing! If you know the sound of a veggie will be a turn off, avoid it or spin it. Pretty purple veggies instead of radishes, white broccoli instead of cauliflower, pumpkin instead of sweet potatoes (they were in a real pumpkin phase around Halloween). I also try to purposefully discuss the meal with the assumption that they will like it all, setting them up for success. If I tell them they may not like it, they won’t! Last week we enjoyed the Fontina-Stuffed Chicken with cauliflower rice & pesto. I had planned for them to have some chicken & try the cauliflower rice (omitting the word cauliflower, of course). On the off chance they liked the pesto I asked if they wanted to try ’this super yummy green sauce’ before putting it on their portion and, to my surprise, they loved it, wanted it all over their cauli-rice and asked for seconds!
G&G has helped my family with the dinnertime challenge more than I ever thought it would. But, at the end of the day, just try to keep in mind that it's not the end of the world if dinner doesn't go quite as planned! I hope a few of my go-to tips and tricks for feeding the kids can help you out at dinnertime, too.
--Emily, founder of Garnish & Gather