Back to School with Yummy Basics
Working with my mom in the kitchen and watching the women in her family cook has always been a very anchoring aspect of my childhood. There’s something so sacred about that bond when working together to prepare meals for our family, I will treasure the memories of these times for all of my life.
Maybe it’s because they’ve been used to helping us in the kitchen since they were babies, but all of my children love to cook. It’s been an integral process in getting them to try and love new foods, and for me it’s extra time with them while I prepare our meals. We all love to bake and try to put at least one recipe on the calendar every week. As Jack and Zoe have gotten older, they’ve become so helpful with preparation and it really seems to be something they look forward to and enjoy. It’s one of those traditions that means so much to me and I’ll be deliberate about keeping it that way in our family for as long as possible. With school starting imminently, our weekly meal routines are also about to get an overhaul, mostly breakfast and lunches that need to be quick and ready to go. They love yogurt and will eat it anytime, anywhere, so naturally, we got a ton of Annie’s new Organic Whole Milk Yogurt Quarts and Tubes for baking, quick breakfasts, and for freezing to put into school lunches.
One of our favorite things to make together as a family is a recipe that we adapted from Deb Perlman, her Lemon Blueberry muffins. The kids-including Evvie-all take turns adding ingredients and zesting lemons, which ultimately leads to a smaller quantity for freezing and keeping for weekly breakfasts. We incorporated Annie’s new Organic Whole Milk Plain Yogurt in lieu of sour cream, and they came out beautifully! We pump up the recipe with whole wheat flour and flax meal as well, so that I know that they’re getting some good, healthy brain food in the morning and it’s something they enjoy.
Lunches are notoriously tricky for Jack and Zoe especially, as we try to keep their school packed meals easy, quick and yummy-not an easy feat when there’s an entire school year of daily lunches to keep interesting. In the past several years that we’ve been experimenting with new and creative ideas to keep them entertained and their belly’s full, I’ve learned that really, they just want to eat food that they like and that’s it. We make sure to ask them what they want in their lunches and pack them accordingly, and now that means they ask for a tube of Annie’s Organic Yogurt either for an easy snack in the morning or in addition to a sandwich at lunchtime. Annie’s actually has the only kid-focused yogurt made with certified organic whole milk and real organic fruit puree. So it’s a relief when the kids ask for it, as I know that they’re getting real food and with little sugar. Not to mention, they’re happy knowing that they can expect something that they recognize and love to eat on a daily basis. Evvie is the one we have to watch at home with the frozen yogurt tubes though- she would eat them for each meal of the day and snacks in between. They’re great for freezing and packing for road trips, picnics or beach trips, too.
I want food to always be a comforting and nutritious part of my family’s days, it’s something that is incredibly important to me. It should be fun, easy and yummy, and I hope that our time in the kitchen together is a tradition that they will appreciate when they get older and hopefully incorporate into their lives long term.