A few nights ago I experienced a perfect storm of good things happening at our family dinner. I was trying a new recipe idea (sauce from this cookbook, the rest the result of a creative brainstorm), and it came out just as I was hoping it would. Since it took less than 30 minutes for me to pull together dinner, the boys didn’t harass me with constant “I’m hungry!” comments or try to distract me by tackling each other. I put the Frida soundtrack playing (one of my favorite things to listen to when I’m cooking Mexican) and it seemed to improve everyone’s mood. When it came time to eat, everyone seemed to enjoy what I had prepared, even though it was utterly new to us all. The boys tried all of it–even the feta cheese, which surprised me. The only thing that would have improved the evening would have been a nice glass of cold beer, but since boy #3 is due this July, that wasn’t possible.
Later when I was trying to go to sleep (and thus attempting to ignore boy #3 kicking me nonstop) I kept replaying the evening meal over and over again in my head. What made it so good? It began to occur to me that a number of factors had come together that resulted in a peaceful family dinner. Once I had those ideas formulated in my mind, I felt it only fair to share them with you. And so I decided to create a new page on this blog called “Kid-Friendly Meals.” On this page I share with you the insights I have gained through the last 5 1/2 years of being a mom about how I attempt to create meals that can be enjoyed by everyone in my family. My hope is that this will be a helpful tool for those of you out there with kids. I have also added a “Kid-Friendly” category to my recipe section to go along with this new page.
What strategies do you use to reduce the stress and drama of creating (and getting everyone to eat) a meal for your family?