Meal times are very special around here, especially dinner time. We love to sit around the table with each other and feast on good food and good words. My children range from 27 years old (on his own now) down to 2 and I have used the same approach with all of them. Buy real food, make great recipes, insist they taste everything. For the most part everyone’s palette has become very broad, but there is always a small exception in the vegetable department where one child or another may have a veggie that really grosses them out. So I make it a mission to prepare them differently to try to find a way they may like to eat them . For example, some children will eat cooked peas and some won’t but everyone will eat them raw, so we mostly eat them raw. I myself find cooked peas repulsive, along with cooked beets, but I can eat them both raw any day and without trepidation. Above are some photos of some of the food we ate this evening. Baked sole, roasted cauliflower and potatoes, Brussel sprouts (yup,they eat ’em) and a salad full of raw veggies. The good words will come from a devotion book that will be read aloud to all (tonight it was “what does the Bible have to say about that?) and a few times a week we will also include some time in the Bible and a good novel that is appropriate for all ages.
This year was the first time we had 5 children in skating programs that started at 5 p.m 5 to 6 times a week for about 3 months. It totally ruined our supper hour and made way for a hectic and unrelaxing snacky kind of dinner while mostly standing at the rink. This is not a healthy lifestyle and there is no time for meaningful conversation with your loved ones at this pace. Also because I always had to feed my small army on the go there was extra preparation in advance while school was being done that made the day all the more crazy. Some families live like this all the time!! I could not continue like this forever. I guard my time with my family and really believe that the hours we spend on character training and relationship building are more important than any extra curricular program out there. That is not to say they won’t ever do sports or music but we will not prioritize them over family time.
We are blessed to have a lot of variety in our meals . I bulk up my meals to make 2 or 3 of everything, several days per week so that we can eat something once and put the other 1 or 2 in the freezer for later. This helps me to have lighter days when there isn’t much time to throw together a killer lasagna or sloppy joes. It also helps us to have a large monthly menu so that we don’t get tired of eating the same thing all the time or eat the same meal for days on end. I have never been that kind of girl but am thankful for a husband that doesn’t care if he eats the same thing every day. He loves our leftovers. He also loves coming home to a hot and tasty meal after a hard days work, and need I say ….I love preparing it for him:)
I often have friends ask how I got my kids to eat fish. Well I lied…..Just kidding that was my mother (she lied to my half- sister till she was 15 that those were really “CHICKEN” nuggets…lol) I simply started out with baked sole as above ( non smelly fish with a very subtle and light flavor) and did the following:
Baked Sole Recipe:
As many fresh or frozen fillets desired
Squeeze lemon liberally all over
Sprinkle salt and dill all over
Sprinkle Italian bread crumbs all over
Drizzle olive oil on top
Bake at 400 degrees for about 30-45 minutes (depends on thickness of fillets; look very easy flakiness)
Don’t expect kids to eat it all the first time either. Sometmes it take a few tries before they get used to it just like with other foods!!