I’m so glad you’re following our Big Family Food journey! (Missed the first posts? Catch them here.)
I thought it would be good to follow my Great Compromise post with a post that shares what I make sure to put on every plate, no matter what.
Like I talked about here, sometimes I have no time – or very little time – to cook. Our days are full of this:
I could go on and on with pictures of the days of our lives. It’s amazing, and did I mention full? So when it comes to food, now, instead of making sure every part of our meal is the healthiest of the healthy, here is what I focus on:
I make sure there are fruits and vegetables on every plate.
This is something I recommend for everyone, no matter your family size or what season in life you are enjoying. No matter what else is on your plate, just be sure there are fruits and vegetables there too.
It’s really quite simple. In fact, I’ve found that it’s the simplest way to put together meals!
See from the pictures how there are several fruits and veggies on each plate – no matter what I serve?
The same goes for when/if all I have time to make is Mac and Cheese, Frozen Pizza, Chicken Nuggets, or PBJ. Here are some examples of “compromise” meals I might put together:
- Mac and Cheese with peas and grapes
- Frozen Pizza with fresh spinach dipped in ranch and apple slices
- Chicken Nuggets with sweet potato fries and these rockin smoothies
- PBJ with clementines and steamed broccoli
I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: Matt and I survive on these smoothies. I make a blenderful every other day and we share it. They are jam-packed with nourishment and give us WAY MORE GREENS than we could ever chew. I’ve gotten to the point that I stuff my Blendtec full of spring mix (about 1/2 pound), add some frozen fruit, pour in some milk, blend it and go. We would never eat that many greens at one time. But in this smoothie? We drink it down and love it.
So Matt and I tend to drink these smoothies even while grabbing a couple of chicken nuggets or a piece of pizza on the fly. Meanwhile, I make this version for the kids.
Great fruit and vegetable choices for your plates
To make it easy for all of us, I’ve put together a list of easy-to-serve fruit and veggie choices to serve with meals:
- Prepared Unsweetened Applesauce Cups (or applesauce scooped out of a jar into small bowls)
- Applesauce Squeezies – with other fruits and sometimes vegetables included
- 100% Peach Cup
- 100% Pear Cup
- 100% Mandarin Orange Cup
- Canned Pineapple – tidbits or slices
- Green Beans
It truly is easy to add any of these to your meal plates! It’s one of best my Big Family Food tips: always add fruit and veggies to whatever I find time to make for my family. Even if all I do is open some cans of pineapple and a bag of baby carrots!
Read here about how to have fun filling your cart with fresh produce your family will love!
Stay tuned for more Big Family Food posts, where I share all about how I make food for our big family!
Here’s a tip I just discovered. If you have space, stick a few of your fruit cups or cans of fruit in the fridge. They just taste so much better chilled! I had a kid go on and on this morning about how good the mandarins were, and that was the only difference.
Thank you so much for this entire series! We’re going from a family of 4 to 6 in a couple of weeks by fostering, and I have gotten so many great ideas from this series, not to mention freedom to stop sweating the small stuff (referring to your post about not making your own mozzarella anymore). Thank you, thank you, thank you!