Simplifying meals: Share Your Brilliance
Food: it’s a basic need and a basic pleasure. But too often the procuring, preparing, planning, and cleanup involved (especially if there are picky kids in the mix) turns mealtime into a relentless chore.
Not only that — food choices are tied with bigger issues of nutrition, health, money, and the environment. Lots of parents feel guilty and ambivalent about “good” vs. “bad” food.
It’s also frustrating when the kid next door happily brings a thermos of vegetable chili to school while your kid will only eat bread-and-butter sandwiches. You want to support your family’s health — but what if they’re not cooperating?
It doesn’t have to be this way! With a few minimalist tricks on board, grocery shopping, cooking, and eating can become a simple, nourishing part of your week.
Let’s talk food. Specifically:
1. How do you balance time spent shopping and cooking with budget considerations? Pre-chopped vegetables and other convenience foods are…convenient. But they’re also expensive, and sometimes less-than-healthful. We’re big believers in balance — not every meal has to epitomize the Food Pyramid. But we’d like to know which convenience foods you consider worth the money.
(Asha here.) My favorites are bagged salad greens, good quality frozen vegetables (no prep!), and dried fruit. Lately I’m picking up a weekly rotisserie chicken which really simplifies weekly cooking. I still have a childhood weakness for Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and Cup O’Noodles, both of which I buy a couple times a year as a diversion.
2. What are your favorite quick, healthy, go-to dinners?
3. Any tips for streamlining the weekly meal parade? Meal planning ideas and resources, shopping shortcuts, attitude shifts?
(If only we could host this conversation over a potluck dinner!)
Photo credit: Flickr/SweetOnVeg