One night I told my son to "make a sandwich or if you want to wait I can make something." and excitedly he said "I'll wait!" so I went downstairs and found an easy express meal. All I had to do was boil water and drop two packages of beef stew into it and the kids loved it. The next night I made another express meal, beef stroganoff. They were singing my praises for a meal that literally took me 15 minutes.
By night four I decided to go all out with a culinary masterpiece that took twice as long... a whole thirty minutes! It wasn't easy and this 'simple plate' meal they called it didn't seem all that 'simple' since it took six steps instead of two. I survived and we ate Garden Vegetable Lasagna. Yes it was FULL of veggies and yes all six kids really did eat it! Mom success at it's finest!
That night while putting the kids to bed my oldest daughter said "Mom, you are a good cook!" I felt doubtful since I was sure a pre-packaged express meals didn't really count as a 'home cooked meal' but her comment stayed with me that night as I thought about the difference in my kids when I did make these meals. To them it felt like a fabulous home cooked meal, it even tasted like it. Strangely enough I even felt like a good mom making these meals every night.
Sometimes I think as parents we forget the tedious tasks in life like cooking, cleaning, and laundry really do make a difference. Our kids are happier and more calm in a clean house, they are grateful to have clean clothes to wear, and they enjoy a meal together as a family. I encourage you to bring your family around the table at night with a meal and conversation, no matter how simple it is.