Fresh is Best!

23 09 2007

Okay, many of you already know that Fresh is best….fresh what you ask….fresh fruits and veggies.

Now, these take up too much time and cost too much to have everyday all the time…but I have come up with some ways to get my kids to eat more and more often. First, I try to make about 40-50 percent of my grocery budget to be fruits and veggies! That means we have lots around the house for every meal. I buy in season and freeze when possible.

On the day of shopping I cut, peal and package all the fruits and veggies for the week. So, on Monday’s after the kids are napping I wash all the veggies and cut them up for dinners, then put them in big zip lock bags (we use the off brand type) and put them in the fridge. This way when dinner time comes during the week I just pull out how much I want to steam and do it. This saves TONS of time during the week! I also try to have 2 veggies at each dinner and one at lunch. (Have them already cut and ready makes it nice for lunches, you just grab some and serve with some dipping sauce).

For fruits we try to have one with each meal except dinner, and at afternoon snack. This makes sure the kids are getting 3 servings a day. We choose what fruit we are going to get the most off based on the sales for that week. I also buy frozen when needed and put it yogurt or cereal. Canned fruit will work, but we don’t use it often because of the poor nutrition content and sugar.

When veggies are on sale STOCK up! Do what you do on shopping day, but lay them on a cookie sheet and freeze. Then put them in a freezer bag. This way they are individually frozen so you can take out only what you need.

Have fun with all the fruits and veggies this week! You will be surprised how much your kids will eat if they are just around and ready to eat.

Post any ideas you have as well!!!! We would all like to learn from you.

Slave or Serving?

23 09 2007

I often have to look at my schedule and see if I am a slave to it or is it serving me. Being a slave to your schedule is not what it is meant to do, it is meant to serve you and your family.

Let’s look at ways the schedule can serve us….

1. It lets you keep everyone well fed and in good moods. My kids do better if they eat small meals all day long. This keeps their sugar from dropping and having tantrums. My schedule makes sure everyone is eating when they should and eating what they should.

2. It makes sure everyone is getting the rest they need. It is hard on kids to go go go all day long then be expected to behave in a restaurant…they need their rest and us moms need to make sure they are getting it. I see too many very tired little kids being dragged through the mall in the middle of the afternoon while mommy shops. I know we all like to go shopping and go out, but it is our job to make sure our family is getting everything it needs and sleep is one of them. Dr. Mohler, president of the Southern Seminary, talked on this a few days ago on his radio program. Children between 12 and 20 need 9 hours a sleep a day. If you aren’t sure what your children need check with your doctor. For me I can tell my kids need more sleep when they wake up tired or crabby or they are falling asleep before a normal naptime.

3. It helps you make sure everything is getting done around the house. Mom needs rest too, but you can’t get that in very easily if you are stuck trying to catch up on laundry or chores everyday. Make a cleaning schedule and keep to it. This way you can sit down in the afternoon or evening and know that you got everything for that day done.

4. It makes sure we are serving God! This is the most important way it can serve us. We need to make sure we are putting ministry in our schedule and keeping to it.

5. It helps unite your family together. Kids should know that the world does not revolve around them. Letting them see that everyone has a place on the schedule helps them work on sacrifice. Sometimes mommy has “mommy time” and the kids have “daddy time”. Everyone is important and needed for our family to run.

How does the schedule enslave us…

1. We NEVER allow the schedule to change to fit our family life or daily changes. Things come up and we need to change the schedule.

2. We don’t go anywhere because it doesn’t fit the schedule….even on nice sunny days. After a long winter we should take advantage of nice days and get outside. Even if it isn’t on the schedule we should go do it. We have grandparents or family in town we let the schedule go for a few days. Some days just don’t need a schedule and that is okay once in a while.

3. We become legalistic and demanding. Our husbands don’t need us telling them what to do because of a schedule. My kids go to bed around 8:30, but when daddy puts them to bed it is usually closer to 9 or 9:15. That is okay, daddy can do that, he is head of the house…not the schedule.

Okay…enough with schedule you are probably thinking. I have good reason for this, I see way too many woman not running their homes like we are called to in scripture. I fall into this category as well way too often, but I don’t want to keep doing that, I want to learn to do better and be a better wife and mommy. I have found that having a schedule helps me do that.

I hope you have put into place a family schedule and if you haven’t I hope you do. If you already have one make sure it is serving you and not you serving it.