Parents need to eat too. This may sound obvious but, it is a simple little fact that is often forgotten in the blur of baby days and toddler tantrums. My husband is actually great at remembering this little tidbit and frequently recalls the airline advice that urges adults to put on their oxygen masks before tending to the children around them. He thinks of food (three full square meals a day) like that oxygen... it is absolutely essential and copious amounts are required for his base level of functioning.
The same can not be said of me. Don't get me wrong. I love to eat. Really. I love love love food. But, the notion of putting together a plate for myself while a little one is howling never even occurred to me. I just assumed that in the natural order of all things food-related, the kids come first. Well, guess what? I was wrong. And, in a moment more rare than a solar eclipse, I'm going to admit something else -- my husband was right!
And, he's not alone. Debbie Koenig, who you may know from the blog Words to Eat By has a fab new book that will help parents everywhere master the struggle of the juggle -- in particular, the juggle of a jiggly newborn or tuggy toddler and the dinnertime dilemma.
In Parents Need to Eat Too, Debbie shares tips and recipes that will speak to busy moms of tiny tots, myself included! Although my kids no longer require swaying and shushing and being strapped to me in a sling, those days are not so far behind and I sure would have appreciated this book then. It contains tasty, simple recipes that be made during nap-time, like Zucchini and Spinach Risotto or Roasted Vegetable Lasagna. It also includes what I think is a stroke of pure genius -- an entire chapter of meals that can be eaten with one hand! Only a mom (and especially a new mom!) can truly appreciate what it's like to have to eat meal after meal with only one hand free because the other one is building up a huge bicep while supporting the head of your precious offspring. I kind of remember feeling like this in those days...
It's true. I can vividly recall being so hungry and so helpless that I literally wanted to put my face in my plate just like "mommy's little piggy." Thanks to Debbie's chapter of One Handed Meals, other moms need not face the same humiliating fate! Her Broccoli and Cheddar Pinwheels will please kids and parents alike and the same can be said of her Chicken (Pot) Handpies.
I was lucky to receive an advance copy of her book and look forward to trying out more recipes in the weeks to come... especially since she also devotes a chapter to "Mom's New Friend: The Slow Cooker". I got a slow cooker for Christmas and was convinced it would help solve my dinnertime woes... it hasn't yet but, with Debbie's easy recipes in hand, it just might!