August and this summer is coming to an end and we are trying to get back into the routine after this unusual year of 2020. Our children have just started new schools – Elsa is in 4th grade (!), Isac is starting her freshman year in school (although her name is grade 0) and Noah moved into an older group in kindergarten. Like all other parents, we find ourselves balancing stressful mornings, exercising, preparing snacks, and figuring out how to keep the boys sitting long enough that they can actually eat part of their dinner.
Meal prep is usually a time-saving tool, but we haven’t gotten into this routine well yet.
We have just started planning weekly menus with the kids though, which seems like a step in the right direction. We try to put in place some ground rules that make it easier for them to choose: a day of pasta, a day of soup, a day of pancakes, etc. And then they can choose which pasta / soup / pancake toppings we should make. It’s a nice little trick to make them feel included and mentally prepared for what we’re doing. Children usually have vivid imaginations, but when it comes to food, their choices are often surprisingly boring. “Can we have spaghetti with red sauce” “pasta with pesto”, “pasta with white sauce” or “pasta with ni sauce”… so we try to help with any tips and suggestions.
These are their “pasta with white sauce”. This might not be the most exciting pasta we’ve shared – just pasta that you toss with sour cream or yogurt + lemon + herbs and cubes of roasted butternut squash and chickpeas for the make it more nourishing – but we love its simplicity and we love that they love it. So we thought it was worth sharing. You can always add a drizzle of green sauce, harissa or more herbs to make it more exciting for adults.