Last night, my daughters had a delicious dinner of hot dogs with ketchup, macaroni and cheese from a box, and some steamed broccoli. They ate every bite, and so did I. By modern standards, you may be cringing at the thought of this unhealthy meal, especially on the heels of the previous evening's even more spectacular frozen chicken nuggets and carrots with ranch dressing. Don't start to feel sorry for my children just yet. They're happy, healthy, and we're a pretty stellar family, overall. I'm not ashamed by our less-than-perfect evening (or lunchtime or breakfast) menus. Here's why.
I don't enjoy cooking.
I really don't enjoy spending time in the kitchen. I do enjoy baking on occasion (from scratch, even). I love making a huge meal for the holidays. Weeknight dinners, however, are probably my least favorite type of cooking. I'd much rather stick to a quick meal that doesn't require a lot of planning. We're all happier when I do!
Cooking takes time away from my daughters.
Because I'm not a chef, and not the type to plan my meals on the weekends and then just pull them out when it's time to use them, cooking a big meal is time-consuming for me. It takes away the after-school time that I spend with my daughters. I have less time to read, less time for homework, less time to hear about their day, and less time to go to the park or playground together. I could combine some of these activities, but sometimes it's nice to give my daughters my undivided attention, too.
We don't need to eat healthy food all of the time.
Of course, I don't serve hot dogs for dinner every night. Tonight we're having chicken breast stuffed with broccoli and cheese (I didn't make it myself…don't be alarmed). I always steam a veggie and serve it without salt or butter. We make choices at every meal about what we can have seconds of and when (and if) we can have dessert. My daughters might not have the healthiest meal for dinner every night, but there's some value in that, too. They eat a variety of food (some good and some bad), and they do know how to make good choices.
We're a healthy bunch.
With the exception of my husband's high blood pressure, we're a really healthy family overall. We're active. We're all in shape and of average weights. Our physicals regularly reveal us to be in good health. I don't believe the occasional hot dog is doing us too much harm.
I'm not ashamed of the meals I serve on occasion. We're a happy, healthy family. How about yours?
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