In our crazy life, sitting down to eat a family meal is tough. There are practices, games, classes, meetings, and so many more activities that eat away at precious family time. Parents was to have “family dinner” but many will admit this happens in the drive through lane more often than the dinning room table.
What if I told you that a family meal was easier to achieve than you think? Enter the pancake mix… unassuming, seemingly simple member of your pantry that could make this meal a reality.
Pick a breakfast, not a dinner family meal – During busy seasons, family dinners are tricky to make happen. Getting a free night is hard, then there is prepping the meal, sitting down, and cleaning up the kitchen! Instead of pushing family dinner, how about scheduling family breakfast? Weekends are often easier but think how magical a Wednesday would be if everyone started the day together, or go into work an hour later on days the kids are off school.
Mixes do all the hard work – When you bake, it’s important that you get the right ratios of liquids to flours to levening elements correct. Mixes figure that out and allow you to have fun with your food. Want chocolate chip pancakes – just add some morsels and you’ve got a happy face. Want a unique flavor like pumpkin, apple cinnamon or buckwheat – you can find all sorts of different mixes so you won’t have to figure it all out. Want waffles instead of pancakes – just use a different cooking method.
Teach your kids about cooking in a beginner way – When my kids were little, we piled around the mixer to make cookies. I gave them all a small, plastic bowl and would add little amounts of the ingredients as we mixed them. They learned the difference between brown and white sugar, what flour takes like, and that we don’t eat raw eggs! Mixes give you a great way to cook with your kids because they can learn about measuring, being creative, and using different utensils, without taxing your knowledge or creating a huge mess! For tips on ways to cook with your kids, visit KidsHealth.org.
Locally produced mixes are healthier – When you pick up a locally milled product, there are less preservatives, the grains are less processed, and there are less additives. We’re all trying to eat better and locally milled mixes are another great way to care for your family.
Take a break, keep it simple, and know that whatever you are going through right now is a phase. Stop and evaluate whether this craziness is how your family thrives or an insane few weeks to push through. No matter what is going on, take some time, take a meal, and connect with your family.