Sunday, April 27, 2008

Kid Food Callout

And I shall now humble myself and answer Jenn's question.

Try not to judge.

I remember when my cousin Martha used to feed her kids kid food for dinner, and I said I would never do that. Every night my family would gather around the dinner table and partake of my lovingly homecooked meal where all of the food groups were perfectly represented.

Oh, humility, how you love to stick it to me.

This is still the dream and I believe that when the kids are all in school, it could happen. The problem now is that the kids are hungry by 5pm and ready for bed by 7pm. The mom and dad are not either of those things. So, I make two dinners, a kid dinner at 5, and a good mom and dad dinner at 7.

I must say that this is my least favorite mommy chore. I find coming up with and preparing twelve daily meals (plus snacks), while trying to keep them somewhat nutritious and kid-friendly, to be a totally mindtaxing dilemma. And we end up eating way more of the junk I swore I would never serve. Just like Martha ;)

Anyway, here are a few of our favorites:

- Mac & cheese, of course. And chicken nuggets and other scandals

- Frozen peas. This is my favorite mom trick. When babies start on finger foods, give them English peas straight out of the freezer. They are so sweet, they taste like candy. All four of mine still love them.

- Squash: chop zucchini and yellow squash into rounds, put it in a Corning ware with about 1/4 a cup of water, salt, and a tiny bit of pepper, and nuke it for 6-8 minutes. Cheese makes it even better. And, the kids love to peel the zucchini themselves

- Salad. Fortunately both the big kids love fresh spinach, especially with the new spray salad dressings that they love to spray themselves. Shep, especially.

- Spaghetti squash and Ragu.

- Pasta with kid tomato sauce (canned tomatoes, little bit of Italian seasonings, salt & pepper.) They love sprinkling on the Parmesan themselves (do you see a trend here?)

- Eggs. My intent is for us to eat way more eggs because they are, well, so cheap. Much cheaper than chickens, huh? So I am looking for good egg recipes. I made them eggs in a basket the other night and they loved them.

- Black eyed peas and cornbread. I was raised on fresh ones from my grandpa's garden, but the frozen work very well. Boil with a few strips of bacon and salt & pepper. And, well, a little bacon grease makes them even better. Ummm. If I had some of my grandma's chowchow to put on top, I would really be in heaven.

- Quesadillas. Just tortillas and cheese, beans if I am feeling really creative. Folded over and nuked for 20 seconds.

Ok, now a word about hot dogs. Yes, I do make them - occasionally. Very, very occasionally. Because if you have never heard, children who eat 12 hot dogs a month have nine times the risk of childhood leukemia. Nine times. Also, more brain tumors. Here is a link. I doubt I would ever serve them 12 times but if they are that toxic, I don't really want to be serving them at all, you know? Of course, this study could be flawed. I'm still limiting the dogs.

So, I am sure that was very disappointing for Jenn. My kid dinners kind of stink. So I am calling on y'all to rescue us. Please feed the children.

I am going to do a Mr. Linky love, and please post your favorite kid recipes and link them back here. If you do not have a blog, then please leave them in the comments!

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