There’s a long list of things I said I’d never do as a parent that- once I actually became a parent- I wound up doing. Making separate meals for my kids was one of those things. I’m no short order cook, but sometimes feeding tweens means finding a balance between a family meal and just making sure everyone in the family eats.
I’ve partnered with Three Bridges for this sponsored post. Remember they also sent me their delicious egg bites? They make GOOD food. Yummy- yes, but also made with all natural ingredients, nothing artificial, no binders. These are simple, healthful, honest meal solutions, and I love this partnership because I know you all will love this food.
Back to the tween thing.
This is a whole new chapter of parenting for us, and we’re learning that some battles aren’t worth giving any of our finite energy.
It’s not just about us bending the rules because of a cranky tween. It’s legitimately hard to be an older kid. They have a lot of new responsibilities and expectations to manage in addition to school, sports, and other obligations.
Scott and I are trying to find a balance between holding the line because “those are the rules” and bending a little because we see them working hard to respect rules elsewhere, and we know it’s tiring and defeating to feel like you seldom get to make your own choices.
Last night’s dinner was a brilliant example of this entire dynamic at play.
After a day full of work for the grown ups, and school + after school activities for the kids, we made it to 6pm and realized everyone was HANGRY and we didn’t have much of a plan for food.
We did have several Three Bridges pastas and sauces in the refrigerator though, and Leyna requested basil pesto. So we threw in some spinach & cheese tortellini and set the pesto out on the counter. Scott began setting the table and called Kendall down (because these pastas cook up FAST, thank goodness).
K took one look at what we were making and did that full-body convulsion every 6th grader has mastered in what I assume must be a secret meeting.
He likes ravioli. He does NOT like tortellini. And he DEFINITELY does not want any GREEN SAUCE. ::cue shaking and grunts::
So we put back the 2nd package of tortellini, grabbed a package of grilled chicken and mozzarella ravioli and the Heirloom Marinara red sauce. It was an easy enough switch out.
The pot of water was already boiling and ready to go after we took the tortellini out with a slotted spoon. Not worth anyone trying to make a point about eating what we make the rest of the family because that’s just what you’re supposed to do.
Did this mean we had a magical family dinner? No.
The two bigs still argued with each other, continuing some spat they had earlier in the day. The two littles threw the veggies off their plates and demanded cheese. Scott and I shoveled the remainder of the Three Bridges tortellini and the ravioli into our mouths standing at the stove.
But, did everyone eat something healthy that we feel good about feeding them? Yes.
So we’re gonna call that a feeding tweens (and everyone!) WIN. I heard a great piece of advice recently that goes something like, “Consider what you’re ok getting a B in so that you can get an A in something more important.”
I’m ok with getting a B in what a family meal should look like so that I can get an A in preventing meltdowns, getting everyone fed, and getting us to bedtime with just enough sanity to spare. That feels like balance.
Thank you to Three Bridges for sponsoring this post! Be sure to check out their website to see where you can buy their always fresh, never frozen pasta and other foods that never sacrifice quality for convenience.