The diagram below illustrates an inner conflict I struggle with on a daily basis:
Here is a glimpse of how the scene plays out. It’s the dreaded “witching hour”…. kids are wiped out and cranky, all games/toys/activities have been exhausted, breaking up fights and kissing boo-boos by the minute, house is a disaster… I gaze at the clock… 5pm…. husband still has a few hours left in him at work, crap!… have to make dinner…wish I could just turn on the TV, but noooo…. the American Academy of Pediatrics Excessive TV Watching foot comes slamming down on that idea. What if I just added peas to some mac and cheese? I bought the organic kind; that makes it better, right? Wait, we need a protein in there. Any leftover chicken from last night? Who ate all that leftover chicken anyway?!! Baby wants to be held now. Trying to chop carrots with one hand….ahhh….can’t wait until Friday when we can just order pizza!
Ok so on the perfect day, like today actually, when my kids nap at the same time I can be proactive and prep dinner so all I have to do is heat and serve at dinner time. Made sweet potato and cauliflower soup today and will toss broccoli rabe and aged provolone sausage (my favorite from Whole Foods) on the stove just before dinner. Easy enough! Sort of a random dinner, but consider my audience – an almost 4 and almost 2 year old. But we all know that every day doesn’t play out like this and I am constantly struggling to find things to make that are easy and healthy. I know I am not alone in this quest so I figured I would share some low stress recipes that went over well:
Made this last night: Brown sugar and balsamic glazed chicken served over brown rice with roasted carrots. At first glance my older son said, “Umm, Mommy… I want to change this dinner for something else.” He then proceeded to eat the whole bowl and asked for it again tonight. I’d say that is a winner.
Chicken breasts two ways (both served with steamed broccoli and/or roasted sweet potatoes)
1. 4 boneless chicken breasts
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp garlic powder or fresh garlic minced
1 1/2 tsp seasoning salt or Borsari seasoning
1/2 tsp pepper
Combine all ingredients and spread mixture over chicken breasts
Bake at 375 until internal temp. reaches 165 deg.F
2. Parmesan Chicken Tenders - I could eat these every night!
Can you tell we eat a LOT of chicken with simple side dishes? Feeling generous? Share your healthy, kid-friendly go-to recipes in a comment below!