fiddle leaf photography
Apr 20, 2016
It’s 5:00 pm and we are all beat. We’ve been outside all day and now that we are inside the kids are all of a sudden exhausted and ravenous. They are the definition of HANGRY. What can I whip up in 10 minutes or less that will keep everyone happy AND use up all the little bits of food hanging around in the fridge and cupboard? The answer is what I like to call Muffin Tin Meals. It’s the easiest kid dinner that you can make when you have no energy to cook.
I mentioned last week that my husband is often working during our dinner hour. I used to try and cook a decent dinner when it was just me and the kids, but more times than not, it would result in someone in the house crying (sometimes it was me!). Finally a few months ago, when I’d spent over an hour making what I thought was a delicious dinner that was barely touched by both kids, I threw my hands up and decided that was it. I had to let go of my ideal of having a sit-down family dinner every night. This is a season in my life, and this season isn’t conducive to fancy meals when I’m alone.
Since relaxing, life has become SO MUCH easier. We eat meals together when both my husband are I home (sometimes that is breakfast or lunch), but when I’m alone I try to keep myself sane and don’t bother cooking. My kids (ages 4 and 19 months) now eat Muffin Tin meals at least a couple of times a week. They actually get excited about them and look forward to seeing what is in each little cup. Then I eat after they go to bed and can actually have a moment to sit and taste my food (if you have kids you know what I mean…).
The premise is simple. Grab a 6 cup muffin tin and fill each cup with something different. I usually try to mix in at least one carb, one protein and one veggie. The rest is a free for all. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous you can even do a colour theme (red or green is the easiest!). We eat mostly vegetarian at home, so these meals make it easy for me to give the kids beans or tofu that they can eat with their fingers. An added bonus is that the muffin tins make it really easy to eat anywhere. Since it’s been so nice this week, I’ve been bringing the tins out onto the front steps and the kids eat their dinner in between making chalk drawings or running around the front yard. Dinner solved!
Below are a few of our recent Muffin Tin Meals to get you started with some ideas.
This one had a bit of a red theme going until I couldn’t find one more red ingredient and had to use blue corn chips! Leftover pasta, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, sliced red peppers, yogurt, blue corn chips.
See? She can’t even wait until I’m done taking pictures to start eating! Black olives (my kids are olive obsessed), edamame beans, tomato, cheese, peanut butter + jam wrap, cucumbers.
Pickles, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, sliced whole wheat wrap (for some reason they like it better sliced….kids), crispy tofu (I’ll share that recipe soon), cheese.
Other ideas….pieces of chicken, roasted chickpeas, mini muffins, dates, rice, peas + corn mix, half a cob of corn, cubed fruit, baby carrots, pudding, bread cut into shapes using cookie cutters, hard boiled eggs, goldfish crackers, fish sticks, hummus, and apple sauce.
Here’s an idea! Let’s pack up some muffin tin meals, head to the backyard, play on the swing set, have tickle fights, and capture the whole scene with a documentary family photo session this summer. Contact me today to chat about how we can make your photo shoot as stress free as these meals. 🙂
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Lifestyle family & newborn photographer based in Edmonton, Alberta
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