I maybe the world’s worst cook. No, Really. This is not a post about a cooking transformation, just an honest assessment from a parent who has just started cooking more. My husband and I decided that it is better to cook at home so we know exactly what we are eating. Plus, I am pregnant and have gestational diabetes, so I need to be careful about what I eat. I thought I’d see how long we’d go before we gave up. I am proud to report that it is now 4 weeks and we have made it so far.
I have 2 boys; one of them is easy and the other one is Mr. Picky. Therefore, over the course of the 4 weeks, I have narrowed down a few items that are a super hit (i.e. “Mom, dinner was great!”). I don’t know about you but I love those 4 words.
Some tips that have helped me:
- Planning out my menu in advance: I plan out my menu in advance. I add the things I’d like to prepare on a calendar so that is visual. Armed with my menu plan for the week, I head to the grocery store.
- Thinking about a balanced meal: Protein, carbohydrates, vegetables or fruit, and dessert. We have become more conscious about the importance of protein (chicken, fish, beef, pork, turkey, etc.), some carbohydrates (pasta, bread, rice, potatoes), vegetables (broccoli, carrots, green beans, etc.) and fruit (apples, pears, peaches, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, oranges, bananas, mangoes, litchis, etc.). In our house, fruits are a bigger hit and I am perfectly fine with my kids eating more fruit than vegetables. Last but not the least, dessert! Again, one of my kids loves dessert and the other one has to be forced to eat sweet things (yes, I know). By the time they get to dessert, they are usually full and normally don’t eat too many sweets. It works out well.
- Knowing what my kids will try and what they simply won’t: I try to expand the limits of my kids’ palate a little bit each week. I know some things will work and some that simply won’t. I am Indian and my husband is French, so we get a fair bit of variety in there.
- Keeping a few meals off: We have a couple meals off from cooking for takeout. This option works out well for me and the kids. Often, I get Indian takeout or Mexican. The former is a stretch for them, but unbelievably, my fussy one is coming around to eating more of it. (Yipee).
- Kids love routine: I always thought that I’d have to cook amazing elaborate meals for them. It turns out that they like simple things and don’t mind repetition. I am hoping to slowly move up in my cooking abilities, and maybe even go as far as Julie and Julia (the books are on my wish list). These are my first baby steps in the cooking world and I am having fun.
Here is my dinner menu for this week:
For breakfast during the week days, we usually eat cereal, eggs, oatmeal, fruit, smoothies, etc.
Monday: Steak with French Fries, Fruit, and Ice Cream for dessert
Tuesday: Turkey with Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Fruit, Cookies
Wednesday: Chicken Tacos, Beans, Rice, Cheese, Fruit, and Mango Bars from Trader Joe’s.
Thursday: Pasta with Turkey meat sauce, Fruit, Ice Cream.
Friday: Kids will eat Mexican and hubby and I will be going out for dinner with friends.
Saturday: Kids are home for the weekend so here is a menu for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.
Breakfast: Pancakes and Chicken Sausages.
Lunch: Sandwiches: Ham and Cheese, Turkey Breast and Cornichon, Salami, Tomato and Butter. Divine Indian Butter, and French Fries, and Dessert.
Breakfast: Cereal, Oatmeal, and Fruit (or, depending on my mood, go to my favorite hole in the wall).
Lunch: Chicken Pot stickers, Fried Rice (Eggs, Carrots, Peas, Ham, Onions, and cabbage), Green Tea Ice Cream.
Dinner: Savory Crepes with Eggs, Ham, Cheese, and then Sweet Crepes with Nutella, Jam, Whipped Cream. They are divine, but with gestational diabetes, I can’t eat these, so I will have eggs and toast.
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