In theory, it seemed so easy. Less drive throughs. Less processed foods. Less mystery meat. More whole grains. More fruits and veggies, preferably organic and locally grown.
But oh my god… what a pain in the ass. The planning. The cooking. Convincing my kids that Fruit Roll Ups do not a dinner make. In short, finding a whole new life routine. I might as well have decided to swap my nose with my ear.
Making it especially hard is that eating bad is so… easy. You drive through and a meal is served to you cooked and ready to go in a pretty little bag. Or go inside and a two story play land sings lullabies to your kids while you text your friends. Or you pick a box from the grocery store shelf and the only prep needed is opening it.
But before you know it your kid is wedged in the slide and you’re buying two plane tickets – one for you and one for your extra chin.
We’ve been taking baby steps; right now we’re about at a Richard Simmons. My hope is that soon we’ll be operating at a Jillian Michaels.
But here, my friends, are four easy peasy tips that I have found helpful in getting my family in fighting form:
It takes me 20 minutes every Sunday night to meal plan for the entire week. I’m very Amish about it – I have my pen and pad of paper next to my laptop and write down my grocery list manually as I scroll through Pinterest. I’m sure there are all kinds of apps and martians to email your grocery list to the store and have robots deliver it to your ipad.
But I write it down, then I write it on my calendar. Because that’s how I roll.
2. Start Small.
Imma tell you – food can be super overwhelming and the very thought of it can make you want to hop in the car and drive straight to Nacho Mama’s. I cook healthy three nights a week, and the others we do leftovers or eat out at a restaurant or sandwiches. I told you – we’re a work in progress.
3. Memorize five recipes.
Don’t feel like you have to find something new and exciting each week, or that you need to feel shackled to your laptop as you level off measuring spoons while the kids cling to your legs because you’re not paying attention to them for two minutes out of the other 1,438 of the day. The key is quick, easy (just a few common ingredients), familiar meals your whole family will eat. Also I forget my grocery list all the dang time and I need to have a little something in my back pocket so I’m not screwed at the store.
Here are a few of our favorites:
Trader Joe’s Spinach Tortellini with Pesto
It’s weird – the girls will eat anything they help make. We mainly make cookies. Because I’m a pretty bad cook and everything else turns to shit. I’ve been on the prowl for ways to get them more interested and involved in cooking; our new favorite book is The End of the Rainbow Fruit Salad from Kitchen Club Kids. They love it because it combines counting and colors into a fun and healthy food project.
We hit up the Kirkwood Farmer’s Market for some locally grown fruit, put the book it in the window, read it as we go… hook, line and sinker my friends.
Like shooting fish in a barrel. I’m the fish, they are the barrel. *Pshew* *shoots gun above head*
I’m giving away a copy of The End of the Rainbow Fruit Salad to one lucky reader. Simply comment below with your favorite family meal, and like their Facebook page. I’ll randomly select a winner Thursday, July 11 at 5pm CST.
You can also purchase a copy for yourself at the Kitchen Club website. A portion of proceeds from every sale will benefit local food-based charities.
CONTEST RULES: Contest open to legal U.S. residents age 18 and over. Family members and advertising partners of site administrator are not eligible to win. Winner will be randomly selected among eligible entries on Thursday, July 11 at 5pm CST. Prize may not be redeemed for cash. Winner will be notified via Facebook, Twitter and email. If winner does not claim prize within 24 hours, alternate winner will be selected.Disclosure: I may have been provided with compensation, goods and/or services for this post. All thoughts and opinions are strictly my own.