As much as I enjoy sitting down to family dinners filled with perfectly cooked chicken, kid-friendly vegetables and Plantation Salad, it isn’t always possible with active kids. We’re constantly on the go between activities and events. More often than not lately we have resorted to less than ideal meals. As an example, last Thursday at 4:30 when Miss K hopped into the van after Lego Robotics practice, I immediately handed her a sandwich. That was what she needed to eat as we drove to symphony practice that started at 5:30. She wouldn’t be home again until 7:30 pm.
Thursdays are difficult and a sandwich in the car is really her only option. Other nights are a different story. The girls are usually at home, but we need to grab something quick before heading to the next activity. Does it make me a bad mom if I admit that sandwiches and canned pasta are the fall-back. The girls often have sandwiches for lunch so offering them another for dinner is less than ideal. I’m always looking for new options but we haven’t found one that has been a hit. I was thrilled to find some time-sensitive breakfast options, but until a few days ago, I hadn’t dialed in to new quick dinner alternatives. That’s when we picked up a few single serving packages of Stouffer’s Mac & Cheese. Given the choice, the kids would eat macaroni and cheese every day. They recently learned to make it on their own, too. This quicker version of one of their favorite comfort foods sounded like a hit to all of us. Not only is it quick but they can also make it themselves in the microwave. As a bonus, the flavor options are much more sophisticated than the box they have been eating. The Stouffer’s flavors are akin to something homemade! They are made from quality ingredients like cheddar or mozzarella with pasta that is freshly made with two simple ingredients – flour and water.
Track season will be starting next week and our already hectic schedule will only get busier. The girls are at an age where their bodies are naturally craving more calories, but a few hours of hard-core workout multiple times per week makes their need for food even stronger. Yes, family meals are ideal, but sometimes we have to improvise. Stouffer’s Single Serve Mac & Cheese offers a quick carb-loading option. We can meal-ify it by grabbing some ham or chicken to mix in or eat on the side. The Stouffer’s Mac & Cheese single serve packages are available in Garlic Parmesan Mac & Cheese as well as White Cheddar Mac & Cheese. We love garlic so it didn’t surprise me that both girls wanted to try the Garlic Parmesan variety first.
So the big question is… what did the girls think of it? Because, honestly, it doesn’t matter what the price, the quality of the ingredients or how fresh the pasta is if they don’t like the taste. You know what? They loved it. Actually, so did I. We all tried it and thought it was worth stocking for something that can be made quickly in-between activities. Scott summed it up best when he said “For something cooked in the microwave, this is pretty good.” If I hadn’t watched Miss M make it, I wouldn’t have believed it came from a box in the freezer.
We’ll be buying this again… but next time I’m buying some to stash away for me!
What is your favorite food for busy schedules?