In January, who doesn’t have the urge to turn over a new dietary leaf? For inspiration, I’ve turned to the experts – young moms and dads – about what’s in their fridge, their plans for next year and tips for getting dinner on the table fast.
What’s currently in your fridge that you’re proud of?
Homemade chicken noodle soup, flaxseed plus leftover oatmeal that I will use to make oatmeal pancakes. Cook
Roasted veggie pasta, cheese sticks, beets and a whole bunch of fruit. Derus
Fruit (apples, blueberries, pears), Veggies (Cucumber, carrots, spinach-mostly used for smoothies), Hummus, Whole grain bread and wraps, and leftovers left from the last 2 nights of dinner (stir fry veggies/rice and black bean wraps) Heywood
Red wine braised beef short ribs cooked in the slow cooker. It’s a tasty, limited effort meal with bonus points for having a simple shopping list (ribs, red wine, stock, mirepoix & herbs). Served over potatoes/grits/polenta, etc. Petru
I’m buying as much organic as possible, and grass fed dairy. I just made the switch over to grass fed butter. OMG. Yum. Speetzen
What’s in your fridge that you’re not-so-proud of?
A lot of fruits and vegetables that I’ve been intending to chop and cook. Cook
Too many expired leftovers. Derus
Juice boxes, kids’ yogurt tubes with more added sugar than I’d like, and string cheese that I use too often as a go-to snack. Heywood
The big bag of string cheese. It’s one of a few things my toddler will consistently eat, so we always have it handy for either snacks or to supplement the dinner he didn’t eat. Petru
There’s a Velveeta/canned chili hybrid dip that was made in the crock pot two weeks ago. It’s still there. I’m legit scared of it. To be fair, my husband is from Minnesota and he made it. Yes I’m totally throwing him under the bus, but I also ate it. You probably could go eat it now due to all the chemicals in there (not that I’m going to). Speetzen
What do you plan to stock in your fridge in 2018?
Almond meal so I can make Superhero Muffins, which are secretly healthy muffins made with maple syrup, zucchini and carrots that my preschoolers like to make and eat! Cook
More vegetables, even if it’s sneaking them in somehow. Derus
I’d like to take better advantage of the seasonal fruits and veggies depending on the time of year. I’ve recently challenged myself to cooking less meat and more plant based dinners (including beans, nuts, tofu, and grains as the protein sources). It has forced me to change the way I think about meal planning, but I’ve discovered that my kids often like these things more than meat even. And, it gets our family to eat a much better variety of foods. Ideally, I’d also like to stock more quick snacks for the kids that don’t include added sugar. I’m always looking for new ideas in this area! Heywood
A veggie that my 2 year old son will eat. I don’t know what that is yet, but will hopefully find it! Petru
My 2018 family food goal is to start batch cooking, because so much of my week nights turn into “WHAT AM I GOING TO FEED THESE PEOPLE?” I recently met Sam Rodgers of Eating Clean, Cooking Dirty, who has great healthy, family friendly batch cooking suggestions. I’m excited to get started with her program. Speetzen
Your best tip on getting dinner on the table on a busy weeknight?
Chopping veggies on Sunday so that everything is ready to go. Cook
Prepping on Sunday. That day we’ll do a big meal then have our “planned overs” so we can eat those during the week. If we cook during the week, sometimes it’s something with the slow cooker. Derus
Meal planning! I’ve gotten better about doing it after the addition of each child. It’s very difficult to just stop in quickly at the store with all 3 children. So I plan 5-6 dinners per week and make my grocery list based off of that. Then, I really only do one large shopping trip per week. I try to plan meals with any frozen or pantry items towards the last day or 2 of the week so I can stretch out my shopping trips. Also, I try to do a few minutes of meal prep for the next day after the kids are in bed if possible. It makes the next day’s meals so much easier when I know what I’m cooking for dinner and have some veggies/food prepped a bit already. It seems like the dinner hour (5/6 pm) is always when everyone is needy, crabby, or low on energy (including me) but needs to eat something nutritious! Heywood
Only one cook in the kitchen. One of us will have a meal planned and focus on executing that, while the other parent occupies the kiddos. Petru
Scrambled eggs, Trader Joe’s frozen naan, and a quick steamed veggie. My kids only eat broccoli, so in my house it’s broccoli. Speetzen
So there you have it, five realistic views of what it’s like to provide nourishment at a challenging time of life!