Does it seem like you are always asking your family what they want to eat? It definitely feels like that in my home. At dinner, I’m curious about tomorrow’s lunch. At breakfast, I am wondering what they want to have that night for dinner. Any busy caregiver knows that answers to these questions are essential for a streamlined week with fewer stops at the market. The challenge is getting your family on board with thinking ahead right along with you. If not, you know the story ends with you preparing a meal that no one wants to eat.
Posts By: allisonjstowell
Last spring, as part of our webinar series, we presented on the Flexitarian Diet. Defined as a diet that removes meat from the center of the plate, the flexitarian diet has many benefits for us, our budget and our environment. Aligned with campaigns such as Meatless Monday, the flexitarian diet movement encourages us to consume less meat without expecting us to give it up altogether.
On July 1, 2012, schools and programs that utilize the National School Lunch program began the process of adopting the changes required under the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act (HHFKA). Though challenging to implement, the strong need for better nutrition for the over 30 million children who rely on the National School Lunch program and the opportunity for greater reimbursement per meal (an extra 6 cents), encouraged schools to comply. The transformation to come was so monumental and innovative for a program that hadn’t seen change in fifteen years, that Guiding Stars devoted a webinar on the topic. Now, two years later, we can see how the changes are being implemented and where we are on our journey toward feeding the next generation.
I live in Connecticut. I’m surrounded by beautiful farms and orchards, which offer local meats, vegetables, eggs and more. Our state is also dotted with small vegetable stands pushing the local movement even further. Pretty much every new restaurant is a “farm to fork” establishment, while every old restaurant reinvents their meal to also support local agriculture. This movement makes it easy to feel good about supporting local restaurants, which are serving not only delicious food…but local food too.
When our children engage in programs we begin to picture what it will be like calculating the tight timing and imagining the rush we may feel to get them there (or worse, pick them up) on time. Of course, the car pool logistics are just one part of a larger puzzle that also includes pieces for homework, dinner and dare I say “down time.” At a time when many of you are already questioning the “joy of cooking” and feeling stressed by the pressure of getting a meal together every day, how can we make it easier when everyone seems to be coming and going on different, very busy schedules?
There is no better time for wholesome, make-ahead dinner strategies than the return of the school year and all that comes with it. Take out, fast food and eating at restaurants is not only costly, but usually isn’t nutritionally balanced. While offering a gourmet dinner is also not likely to happen, we need to find the middle ground and develop a strategic plan for getting healthful meals to your family’s table.