Simple Foods for Busy Seasons

The following post is from Kate of Modern Alternative Mama:

source: Geoff Peters 604

My fourth baby was just born.  I’m honestly not doing a lot of cooking at this time.

But you know, my kids — they still want to eat!  Can’t seem to get around that one.  My husband likes to eat too (although at least he is capable of cooking!).  My 5-year-old likes to think she knows how to cook, too, and although she can do some kitchen skills quite well, she still needs a lot of help and supervision.

What I need right now is simple foods to keep people fed.  But, nourishing foods — I’m not going to let them fill up on boxed mac’n’cheese and potato chips!

Here are our (healthy) favorites:

Chocolate Milk

My 5-year-old can make this herself from raw milk, cocoa powder, and maple syrup.  It’s pretty low-sugar and full of healthy fats, and all the kids love it.  It makes a nice afternoon snack or to serve with any meal.

Fresh Vegetables

We keep cucumbers, celery, carrots, grape tomatoes, and other fresh veggies on hand.  The kids like to eat them plain, but they can be dipped in homemade ranch dip or nut butters if you prefer.  If I don’t know what else to offer, this is it!


We keep a mix of frozen, canned, and fresh on hand.  We like to have canned pears and pineapple, fresh pineapple, apples, bananas, oranges, pears, grapes (and whatever is on sale really), and frozen peaches, blueberries, pineapple, and strawberries.  These can be eaten plain or mixed into smoothies quickly.


I often buy Trader Joe’s European style plain, which has no additives in it, or I make my own if I have time (it keeps well so I can make it in advance, plus it’s pretty fast and hands-off).  My boys will eat it plain in a bowl, or I will turn it into smoothies or popsicles.


I buy brown rice pasta and serve it plain, or with a little butter and cheese.  Sometimes I pair some ground meat with it.  For myself I like to add some vegetable sauce.


And, okay, I buy veggie chips, pretzels, and animal crackers to add to meals as special treats.  Not the healthiest options but hey…we all like ‘fun’ foods now and then, right?

Meal Ideas

I like to roast chickens, make Italian chicken breasts, scrambled hamburger, bake some pork chops, fry up some brats and crispy potatoes, and other super easy ideas.  Anything that gets me in and out of the kitchen! It’s a bonus if my 5-year-old can help some!

What foods do you rely on during busy seasons?

Kate is a wife and mommy to 3 and is passionate about God, health and food. She has written 7 cookbooks and is planning to release more in 2012. When she’s not blogging, she’s in the kitchen, sewing, or home schooling her children. You can find her at Modern Alternative Mama or contributing to Keeper of the Home.