March 18, 2014

Food for the Family

One of the things I have been working through is how to get my family fed in the evenings. Sure, I'm good. I have my meals for the day packed. And I eat on a schedule that doesn't always work with eating together in the evenings (especially if half of us aren't at home or we wait for dad to arrive from work).

Now, the family food is cooked and in the fridge/freezer/pantry, but it seems to be a task of gargantuan proportions for the rest of the family to get the food out, heat it, and eat it. I tried making sure there was a 'menu' list on the fridge. Didn't work at all. Last night, several parties that shall remain nameless chose to eat Hot Pockets rather than the pre-made food. Another party chose to not eat and woke up at midnight starving and had to brave unknown creepy things and sounds to sneak into the kitchen, nab some food, and run back to the bedroom before the zombies could attack.

I give. My priority right now is my own health and well-being. I have made things available to my family, but obviously that is still too hard for them. I cannot be everything to them, and with our schedule the will have to make some choices to step it up. However, I will feel guilty and eventually quit caring for myself or opt to take on their stuff if I can't make this sustainable for them.

Here is the new plan... bins in the outside fridge with all the fixings. This accomplishes several things:
  1. No one can say they forgot what was for dinner. Grab the freaking "Tuesday" bin and eat what is inside it.
  2. My inside fridge actually will have some space for leftovers and snacks now, in spite of my huge shelf of pre-packed meals. 
chili and spinach salad
pork chops, fried potatoes, asparagus
The bins are the Mainstays Large Storage Basket from Walmart. ($3.49) They are cheap and big enough to fit a 9x13 dish (needs to be set on top of something in the bottom or tilted a bit). I purchased four- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Friday is pizza night. Saturdays and Sundays are leftovers, snack foods, and sandwiches/frozen items. I'll be adding 4x6 cards with directions, so that anyone in my house can prepare the dinner. I'm not sure what the new 'rule' will be, but I know it will be that you have to eat what is in that night's bin.... no grabbing yourself a corn dog or some other junk because you don't want to fix it. I think I'll leave it to them to figure out... the rule may be that he who is hungry first is responsible for rounding up the rest of the family to cook together. 

I'll let you know how it goes in a few weeks. I'm taking down the list that has been ignored. (Note that things keep getting crossed off, but magically are never eaten. It's like the oil and flour that never run out... except the family is still hungry.)

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