Now that the coronavirus pandemic has us all staying at home and cooking and eating more meals with our family it seemed appropriate to pull out our cookbook and share some recipes with you.

We developed this book when our kids were young, and we and other families like ours were dealing with the suppertime mealtime crunch. This was more due to busy schedules and kids out and about with various programs and activities, while parents were mostly working outside the home.

You are no less busy today, in fact you may be much busier, juggling life with little ones at home, being a teacher to older kids, and connecting with colleagues and clients while trying to get your work activities done. We are sure that this is not easy….and then there are all those hungry mouths to feed and not just dinner!!!

While our book is presently out of print, we have dusted it off and found some recipes and tips that you can try with your families.

We developed Suppertime Survival® as an indispensable source of quick and easy meals that we could pull together based on the foods we had in our cupboards and that we had organized ahead on our shopping lists and meal plans.

The most important thing you need to do to get healthy meals on the table for your family is PLANNING.

Here are 5 simple steps to surviving meal-time madness in your home:

Step 1: Figure out the number of meals and snacks you will need to serve each day during the week. This includes healthy breakfasts, nutritious snacks, lunches and suppers.

Step 2:  Make a plan A plan can guarantee your family is going to get a variety of nutritionally balanced meals throughout the week. Use a calendar or the Suppertime Survival Meal Planner to write out the kinds of breakfasts, snacks and meals you would like to serve.  Include a variety of vegetables, fruit, whole grains and protein foods.

Step 3. Write up your shopping list and aim to shop no more than once a week. Write up your list while you are planning your meals.  Stock up on items that you frequently use so that you can always pull a meal together at the last minute.  Canned goods and frozen fruit and vegetables are great choices right now as they can keep for extended periods of time.  Think about buying canned beans, lentils, tuna or salmon, tomatoes, pizza sauce, plain rice, oatmeal, frozen blueberries, frozen peas, corn and mixed vegetables, etc.

Step 4. Make dinner once and eat twice. Make one supper meal that the whole family can enjoy and avoid becoming a short order cook.  Serve meals that you know are acceptable to the majority.  Picky eaters can fill up on vegetables and fruits.  Cook extras so you have “planned-overs” for lunch or supper the next day.  For example, cook extra chicken or fish and serve in sandwiches or fajitas or on a salad, turned cooked vegetables into a frittata with eggs, and use cut up vegetables for snacking and turn the leftovers into soup.

Step 5. Keep a safe kitchen. Now more than ever, its important to keep a safe kitchen. Wash your hands with hot soapy water for 20 seconds before you cook or eat.  Clean all food preparation surfaces with hot soapy water.  You can also sanitize counters and cutting boards with anti-bacterial cleaners.  When preparing vegetables and fruit be sure to wash thoroughly in cold running water, without soap. Store and cook all foods at the proper temperatures.  A thermometer is the best way to judge if poultry or meal is cooked to the right temperature. Health Canada provides lots of great food safety tips. You can also check out Health Canada’s answers to COVID-19 FAQs on food.

Cartoons ©Steve Nease

Suppertime Survival® – Copyright ©Bev Callaghan + Lynn Roblin 2020