It has been awhile since I have talked about food around here.
So let's talk about it tonight.
I love to cook. Really.
However in the 8.5 years that children have lived in our house, cooking sadly, and wrongly has been one of the things that seems to have moved way down on the priority list. When I speak of cooking I am referring to the preparation of meals that involves more than heating the oven, boling water in which to cook frozen processed ready to eat type foods. I'm talking chopping, marinating, and the like.
There are a few reasons we have let "real" cooking go.
1. We both work full time and are just damn tired when we get home.
2. We want to spend actual time interacting with our children, when one gets home at 5:00 or later and one's children go to bed at 8:30, time is limited.
3. Did I mention the damn tired bit?
Our decision has had some unhappy consequences:
1. Expanded waistines for the adults.
2. Children who have a very limited repetoire of foods they will consume.
3. Whining and rude comments when a meal is presented that does not fall on the very short list of foods the children will consume.
4. Once the whining and rude comments issue was taken care of it was replaced by silly and annoying behavior during meals that children won't eat due to the above mentioned list.
5. Our list of quickly prepared meals is small and we get bored, which leads to more decisions to eat out because we don't want or are sick of what is on the menu.
We eat out WAY too much and that has created the idea for my children that they should always get to eat what they like because that is how it is at restaurants. When I cook meals at home they do not always contain foods on the short list, and our rule is no special meals, you eat what is prepared or you wait until the next opportunity to eat. My children are nothing if not stubborn and regularly choose not to eat. We can't get past this because we are just not consistent enough with eating at home. It will take a long time of consistency in this area to effect change.
I have been on a quest to eat out less and cook at home more for the majority of these past 8.5 years and have never found any solution that seems to work. I haven't given up trying to find new ways to combat this problem.
So here is my latest solution.
I read about it in the paper, checked out the website and those of some similar places around here, discussed it with beloved and decided to give it a go. Our first session is in about two weeks. I will consider this a success if we can keep eating out down to once a week. It will be a roaring success if my children eventually increase their repetoire of foods they will consume. (I don't expect that for a long time to come however.) It addresses a few of our trouble areas in particular... ease of preparation, and variety. Overall the pricing was not terrible I did not think and I am pretty sure we will get at least two meals out of most of those available. Even when it is something they like, my kids aren't big eaters and the adults are being portion conscious around here. I am not opposed to paying a bit extra for convenience either.
So here's hoping. Rest assured I will be keeping you posted.
If this does not have the desired results........rest assured I will be asking for ideas.