I've been a stay-at-home mom now for about two and a half years. When I worked, I never really thought of myself as a cook but more of an assembler. I bought pre-packaged meals, processed food and lots and lots of frozen food. We also had carry-out several times a week as well. With me being home and not working, that way of life just wasn't sustainable anymore. We spent almost three times the amount on food each month that we're spending now and I cook all of our meals at home now. I went from dreading cooking to actually enjoying it. I love it that I can help us save money, and at the same time, provide my family with healthier food. I get great satisfaction from cooking now, and to be honest, it's shocking to me that I cook almost every single one of our meals from scratch. If my friends and family are surprised, I would have to agree with them. It really surprises the heck out of me, too, that I'm cooking as much as I am now.
With all that said, my dear children finally solved a great mystery for me. I've always wondered why, even though they are completely stuffed full with dinner (yeah right), they ALWAYS have room for dessert. My girls explained to me that their stomachs have a "dinner side" and a "dessert side". Can you believe it? All these years I've been starving their poor dessert sides. Because it took all I had just to put dinner on the table for the past couple years, I rarely made them anything for dessert. Their "poor" little tummies. Although not the most accurate explanation, it got me thinking. And I decided it was finally time to start including a dessert into my dinner plans.
And not just once in awhile, I wanted dessert to be required just like their vegetables.
You see, everybody LOVES dessert. It's special. It is always the highlight on those rare occasions when we get to eat out. Dessert tastes GOOD. I want my girls to remember how special it is when we all sit down for dinner together. I want them to know how special they are to us. I want to create memories and traditions they will want to share with their own families someday.
About three weeks ago, I told everyone we were going to have dessert after every dinner. I cannot tell you just what that small change has done to our dinnertime. Everyone, including me, looks forward to that special treat afterwards. And it's a great motivator to get everyone in the "clean plate club", especially our three year-old. It has also given me the opportunity to venture out and try new recipes I've never tried before.
Some of our favorites that are super easy to make:
Frozen Organic Blueberries and Milk
Greek Yogurt with Granola
After only three weeks, I think this tradition is a keeper. And desserts can be healthier if you try to keep them organic and made from scratch. To make it easier, I also try to make enough to feed us for a few days. No one ever complains when we have dessert leftovers!
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