“My kids are so picky. All they want is junk food. If I can get one healthy morsel into their bodies each week, I claim that as a victory. I don’t know what to do!”
The struggle is real. Nutrition is important, yet the battle between easy meals and good nutrition is raging in our fast paced society. We are under loads of pressure trying to juggle the myriad of responsibilities on our shoulders. It’s a victory to simply get each day under way. Getting the morning chores accomplished, and the kids fed, cleaned, dressed, and on task, takes amazing skill and dedication, and by then it’s already time to make lunch. How in the world do other moms manage to provide good meals every single day for every, single, meal? If we don’t give them good nutrition, nobody else will. Nearly everywhere my kids go, they are offered sugary junk. If we aren’t giving them good, core nutrition at home, there will be no balance. It’s a lot of pressure on moms.
I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be like this. Providing food for our families really can be fun and it really can be simplified. My creative juices get flowing when I’m in my kitchen, but balancing this with good nutrition is something of great importance to me and this conviction thrust me into a love for researching, tracking down good recipes, creating a few of my own, talking to other moms, and most of all praying, and searching the scriptures. The Bible has a lot to say on this subject, and true to the nature of our Creator, it’s all in balance.
There are five simple steps I have implemented in my kitchen which emerged from my studies on this subject.
- Pray for wisdom. James 1:5 says “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
- Stewardship. We are responsible to be good stewards of all God provides us with, and that includes our physical bodies. The phrase, “you only have one body to live in, so treat it right” has helped me stay on track. The Bible says “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” I Corinthians 6:19-20
- K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Sweetie. Money and time are two precious commodities. Keep recipes simple, and within budget. It can be done, even when healthy, nutritious, meals are the goal. 1 Peter 4:10 says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” In 2 Peter 1:3 it says that God has given us everything we need for life and godliness. Our job is to use what we have for His glory.
- Research one type of food each week to learn of the health benefits, or lack thereof. Baby steps are key. Then add a new, simple, recipe to your collection once a week for variety. When we get stuck in a rut, the family gets bored with our diet. Tip: Pinterest has some great recipes that are simple, inexpensive, and nutritious.
- Food Is FUN! God intended for us to enjoy the food we eat. It’s one of life’s simple pleasures and He has provided plenty of variety for us to choose from. Plan to have one “fun” food night each week. Our family has food allergies, and even with that factor, we enjoy pizza, pasta, and/or fun desserts, often. Sugar is something we have learned to live without, and God has been faithful to provide healthy, delicious alternatives. We don’t feel deprived at all. In fact we enjoy desserts even more than ever because not only do they taste amazing, but they are packed with great nutrition, as well. “And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.” Genesis 1:30
No Junk In The Trunk
For those of you who struggle with picky kiddos, remember this: you are in charge of the foods you fill your kitchen with. If you only pack your cupboards with good nutrition, you have won a victory! You can’t provide junk for your family if you don’t have it in the house. If your husband isn’t on board with you, there are many ways to meet the criteria for his tastes and still pack meals and snacks full of nutrition. A little creativity goes a long way.
Pesto Chicken Tenders
One of our favorite meals is Pesto Chicken Tenders. These can be made in the crock pot or on the stove.
- 21 chicken tenders
- 2-4 tbsp. extra virgin coconut oil
- Himalayan (pink salt) to taste
- 2-4 cups basil pesto sauce (Costco)
- 1-2 cups sundried tomatoes (Costco)
- 2-4 tbsp. butter (grass fed is best)
- One cup fresh, grated parmesan cheese
- Heat coconut oil in large frying pan
- Brown half of the chicken tenders on both sides, and cook until no longer pink in the middle (10-12 minutes) Set aside the cooked tenders, and repeat procedure with the remaining tenders.
- Crock pot: Skip the coconut oil and frying pan step if you would prefer to use the crock pot. Simply place all of the chicken tenders in your crock pot at once, season with some pink salt, and turn it on low for three or four hours. Check it to see if additional time or a higher heat is necessary since not all crock pots are the same.
- While the chicken tenders are cooking, add the basil pesto and sundried tomatoes to a small saucepan along with the butter. Heat through, being careful not to scorch the bottom.
- Add the cooked tenders to a platter. Pour the pesto sauce over top and garnish with fresh grated parmesan cheese.
- This is super easy, quick, and looks like a gourmet meal.
Serve with veggies and rice or potatoes on the side OR serve over pasta with a fresh salad and some fruit.