Are you putting parental guilt into macaroni and cheese?

Are you putting parental guilt into macaroni and cheese?

Son has football practice, you’re on the run, and dinner’s not ready? Then you pull out a box of store-bought macaroni and cheese, feeling almost like an irresponsible parent, to put it bluntly. Don’t panic: the occasional craft dinner or pogo won’t make you a bad parent. To the table, children!

While we advocate healthy, home-cooked food, it is okay to skip cooked meals or servings from time to time. fried cheese to your child. Life moves fast, finances are tight, the agenda is full, culinary skills are limited, etc.: there are many reasons not to cook.

Not to mention the new Canadian food guide, which, from half a plate full of fruits and vegetables, causes complexes in many parents who cannot get their little pet to swallow broccoli.

+++ How are you? She is good! Row “Parents on the Edge” aims to make families who are out of breath feel guilty in the context of the pandemic. In the program: tips, updates and toolkits on a ton of topics. To be continued in the Inspiration section. +++

Expensive choice

Junk food has a price, as do many other alternatives. That’s what Marie-Hélène, a mother of two and a high school teacher, told herself. After a day at work, she confesses that she lacks the ideas and energy to cook dinner. As a subscriber to ready-to-eat boxes like Cook it and HelloFresh, she prefers to spend a hundred dollars each week on this type of service rather than making another stop at the grocery store. “When I arrive, the ingredients are ready and I just follow the recipe without breaking my head. After 20-25 minutes it is ready and that’s good.

For Sarah and Michel, a couple from Quebec, ready meals have become a habit on weekday evenings. “When I look at the recipes on the Ricardo and Trois fois par jour websites, I get anxious. How can I have time to cook a good homemade meal if I leave the office at 17:00? I can not do it”.

Freeze to “troubleshoot”

One solution is, of course, planning. “When I cook, I double the recipe and freeze half. On Tuesday evenings, when I have appointments, I just defrost and reheat portions of lasagna or shepherd’s pie,” suggests Ekaterina, a mother of two.

Photo: Tanaphong Tuchinda/Unsplash

Nutritionist Jessica Langlois expands on the concept of freezing. Calling herself a “naughty mother,” she basically makes decisions about food on the same day, as do many parents. That’s why she fills her freezer with ready-to-eat ingredients.

The idea of ​​freezing individual portions of pre-cooked ground beef first came to her mind when she was little, and since then she has been freezing everything separately: boiled meat, pasta, vegetables, sauces, etc. “It allows you to quickly prepare shepherd’s pie, tacos or meat sauce. She saves money by buying more when items are on sale.

Pleasure first

If it’s true that healthy eating requires nutritious food choices, it should also be fun, says nutritionist Stephanie Cote. Eating with family should be an enjoyable moment. A child who learns by imitation is strongly influenced by his parents’ attitude towards food.

“You will have a very positive effect on the diet of your little eaters if you teach them from an early age that all foods are allowed and that healthy eating does not involve any restrictions,” she writes in a blog. .

Of course, it is better to focus on foods that have more nutritional value, but one should not neglect those that, although less nutritious, still have cultural or emotional value. Serving fried chicken nuggets on a Friday night or hot dogs with friends also helps to make the meal enjoyable, if it’s an occasion rather than a habit.

Set of tools

  • We turn to the book Cooking for impromptu meals Jessica Langlois and her many last minute cooking tips.
  • We love the idea of ​​nutritionist Sandra Griffin, aka Maman Mange Bien, who puts all food in the center of the table and lets the kids serve themselves. Tip: we give the children a task, for example, to choose a green vegetable.
  • We update our recipe bank with a guideKnow what is – Menu for 21 days – Children nutritionist Stephanie Cote.
  • We always have the “problem” products of nutritionists at hand: frozen vegetables, rice, eggs and legumes.
  • Want some craft dinner? Make it your own with this quick and easy recipe from Genevieve O’Gleman. Secret: Add pizza sauce to mimic the color and flavor of canned pasta. Macaroni and cheese | Recipes | Cook | Tele Quebec (telequebec.tv)

Need activity ideas? Subscribe to our weekend newsletter!