Food, Recipes

Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes to Feed Your Hungry Family

Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes to Feed Your Hungry Family
Photo by Heather Ford on Unsplash

It’s not always easy to find time to cook for your family. But you don’t want to resort to take out and fast food orders, either. It’s smart to find a few simple recipes that you and your children love — and that you can add to your weekly rotation. This way, you won’t have to stress when dinner time rolls around once again. Take a look at these easy dinner recipes.

1. Tofu and Vegetable Pad Thai

This American-Thai dish works as a perfect option for nights when you only have 30 minutes to spare. It includes proteins, vegetables and starches to create a dinner that your whole family will enjoy. You can incorporate any meat or meat alternative that you like, such as tofu, chicken or shrimp. The sauce comes together easily, so you should be able to prepare and eat without any trouble.

The best part about pad thai is that you can use virtually any vegetable. If you have leftover carrots or broccoli, you can toss those into your dish, as well.

2. Corn Chowder With Bacon

Are you ready for warm and hearty plates? The cold weather always feels more bearable when you make soup. This corn chowder should be on your list. It uses corn, potatoes and onions as key ingredients. The recipe calls for chives and bacon as toppings. You’ll be able to make your corn chowder more quickly if you prepare your ingredients beforehand. Plus, you’ll have leftovers for days.

If you need more protein in your soup, you can always add chopped ham or shredded chicken.

3. Lobster and Steak Linguine

A fancy meal doesn’t have to take hours. This lobster and steak linguine would be terrific for a family celebration, as it’s decadent and delicious. You’ll only need a few components to make your meal, so you probably won’t need to buy much other than your meats. It’s best to serve such a dish with a side salad, bread rolls or another option that doesn’t overpower your tastebuds. You don’t want to miss any flavors.

4. Three-Ingredient Tomato Soup

Here’s a second soup option for those chilly evenings. This tomato soup requires three ingredients, so you’ll be able to eat quickly. Additionally, you can make enough for multiple meals. As a result, you have a dish to take to work tomorrow. It’s never a bad idea to make some grilled cheese sandwiches to complete your plate. If you have fresh tomatoes, you can use those rather than canned.

5. Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Your slow cooker will always be a useful tool. This Texas pulled pork tastes delicious by itself, but you can make sandwiches, too. You’ll simply add your meat, spices and liquids to your crockpot. Then, you can enjoy your roast around six hours later. What’s easier than that? You could cook your pulled pork on low for 10 to 12 hours if you won’t be home all day. Serve your pulled pork with coleslaw.

Remember that Texas-style pulled pork differs from other versions. You may prefer a Carolina or Memphis approach instead, but it’s always fun to try something new.

6. Chicken Enchilada Casserole

You can never fail when you make a casserole. These dishes are made for families, so you’ll be able to fill everyone’s bellies. Plus, you only need four ingredients! The recipe doesn’t call for any peppers or chiles, but you can add those to make your enchiladas spicier. Feel free to use a protein other than chicken, as well. Be sure that you have sour cream, red salsa and other toppings for your meal.

An enchilada pairs well with chips and queso, so you may want to make that as a side if you have time.

7. Swedish Meatballs With Potatoes

There are many reasons why people love a certain Swedish furniture store. But if you don’t have an IKEA nearby, you’ve likely never had their famous meatballs. These yummy meatballs boast a totally different flavor than their Italian counterparts. They’re made with a savory beef broth gravy rather than a marinara sauce. This dinner tastes best with steamed rice, egg noodles or roasted potatoes.

8. Honey Sriracha Baked Salmon

There’s a reason why many people love salmon. It’s not only tasty, but it’s easy to season and cook. This honey sriracha take is both sweet and spicy. Plus, you should be able to make it in less than 30 minutes. You’ll need a salmon fillet for each person, but it’s simple to scale your ingredients to feed a crowd. A side like pasta salad or green beans would tie everything together.

Try These Easy Dinner Recipes for a Fast Weeknight Feast

It’s key to have specific recipes accessible for nights when you need a simple meal. These ideas are a delicious place to start! Try them this week so that you can find a new favorite.

Parenting

7 Issues Breastfeeding Moms Might Encounter

7 Issues Breastfeeding Moms Might Encounter
Image Source: Photo 171783634 © Sergey NovikovDreamstime.com

As breastfeeding moms, you have a lot on your plate. Every parent is different, which means your breastfeeding experience will differ from the other moms around you. While some moms have an easy time breastfeeding and never experience any issues with their milk supply or comfort, other moms will find themselves unable to breastfeed for one reason or another. Some moms fall somewhere in between. It’s important to realize that no matter who you are or what you’re experiencing, your feelings are valid and solutions are out there to help you.

Whether you decide to go for formula every once in a while or seek out solutions to the issues, it shows that you care deeply about the health of your child and your own body. Just remember that you’re not alone in any of these issues, no matter what you’re facing.

1. Soreness

For plenty of moms, breastfeeding can cause soreness both in the nipples and in the breasts themselves. The good news is that this discomfort often subsides. As your body adjusts to the routine of breastfeeding and your baby learns to latch, the soreness in your breasts and nipples will likely subside after the first week of breastfeeding. If the discomfort persists over time, you may be dealing with engorged breasts or an improper latch.

2. Ineffective Latch

There are a few reasons why your baby may not be latching easily. If your baby is just fidgety and can’t seem to latch based on temperament, skin to skin contact and nursing at particularly calm times might help them get the hang of it. Sometimes it just takes a week or so for them to latch. However, there could be more physical problems at play. If your child has a lip-tie or tongue-tie, some moderate medical intervention could be the key in helping with latch. If that happens to be the issue, tongue-tie and lip-tie surgery could be an effective route for solving the latch issue — that way, your baby will feel more comfortable and get the nutrients they need easily.

3. Work Obligations

Unfortunately, not every mom can stay home all day to breastfeed. Perhaps financial obligations require that you return to work shortly after giving birth, or you happen to be a busy working mom who loves your job and you want to show your little ones that you truly can do it all. Either way, offices and workplaces aren’t usually the best places for babies to hang out — but this doesn’t mean you can’t nurse. You can pump milk throughout the day to bottle feed when you’re apart and nurse once you’re reunited to get that skin to skin connection.

4. Anxiety

New mom anxiety can impact your routine in all different ways, and breastfeeding might be one of them. Postpartum anxiety can often manifest as feelings of dread, excessive worry, racing thoughts and trouble concentrating. Although anxiety and stress can impact your milk supply on a physical level, the trouble can be mental, too. Worrying about your milk supply and other nursing details can often be its own problem by stressing you out and throwing you off your game. Speaking to a mental health professional or even your OB/GYN about your postpartum feelings might yield some positive solutions.

5. Low Milk Supply Breastfeeding Moms

While sometimes low milk supply can be caused by definitive sources like stress or diet, plenty of moms tend to have a naturally low milk supply. Sometimes, low milk supply can be a bit of a mystery. Luckily, no matter the source of the issue, there are plenty of solutions that can help you boost your flow. From lactation teas to herbal supplements, you can increase your milk supply naturally, often in a matter of just a few days. Fenugreek in particular is a great herb that many mothers turn to for lactation support.

6. Fussiness or Biting

Sometimes, babies don’t want to sit still, even when they’re hungry. While some babies need to nurse in more calm, quiet environments, others simply need a bit of time to get used to the flow and sensation. Be patient and attentive as your baby is nursing. Sometimes, they’ll calm down after a few minutes. If your baby is a biter — even just with their gums — pulling them in a bit closer or putting your finger in the corner of their mouth can relax them a bit and keep them from clamping down.

7. Cracked Nipples

Sometimes, it’s not soreness of the tissue, but of the skin itself that causes discomfort. This is fairly common for many new moms. If you’re experiencing raw, cracked nipples as a result of nursing, try out a warm compress, saltwater rinse or lanolin ointment to soothe the skin and give you a bit of relief.

Nursing Your Way

Although you may run into some issues when nursing, you’ll find the methods and solutions that are right for you. Whether that means pumping from your desk, downing some fenugreek tea or taking extra care of your mental health, your baby will get the care and nutrition they need while you care for your own health, too. Every journey is unique, and you’ll surely find your flow.

Parenting

5 Ways to Be Successful Co-Parents This School Year

5 Ways to Be Successful Co-Parents This School Year

It’s back-to-school time for students everywhere. For many parents, it’s a scramble to buy supplies, restart routines and discuss classes. But if you’re divorced, it’s not as simple. You and your ex-spouse likely have different tactics. How can you work together to support your children? With a little effort, you can ensure their success.

Take a look at five tricks on how to navigate school as successful co-parents.

1. Be Transparent With Expectations

There’s always a rush to understand your kids’ schedules. Which teachers do they have? When does sports practice start? How much will their fall field trip cost? You need to communicate your expectations with your ex-partner as soon as possible. It’s not always easy to call them to relay information, but you need to try. This way, you’ll be able to support your children during their school year.

Take half an hour to talk about your goals for your kids. You want to be level-headed as you discuss your roles as parents. You both need to commit to an honest and open approach for your children’s sake. A joint email account or shared app can help you gather school correspondence. This way, you’ll avoid communication errors that may derail your kids’ school years.

2. Keep Teachers Updated

Your kids’ teachers don’t need to know details about your situation. That said, you should let them know that you and your ex-partner are co-parents. This information will allow them and administrators to take special steps to accommodate your kids. As a result, they should be able to avoid confusion with transportation schedules and other arrangements. If your child falls ill, they’ll know who to call.

Your kids’ teachers care about their performance. In fact, 94% want parents to tell them when a life-altering event like a divorce happens. Therefore, you don’t want to hesitate to organize a meeting or send an email to share your information.

3. Work Together When It’s Possible

There will be times when you don’t want to be on each other’s side. That said, you need to let bygones be bygones. You can’t always expect your children’s teachers to relay messages to two different addresses, emails and numbers. In some cases, your kids themselves will only tell one parent information. That’s why you should set aside concerns or issues you have with one another for your children’s success.

For example, you don’t want to request separate parent-teacher conferences when you could meet together. It may feel uncomfortable, but you’ll save time — and you can become a unified front as you navigate your kids’ school years. This way, you can create a better game plan. The same teamwork should apply to serious matters like life insurance, as you’ll want to create a protected environment for your kids.

In other words, your efforts to work together in and out of school reflect directly on your children.

4. Try to Achieve Cohesion

How cohesive are your households? You may have diverse approaches to how you handle bedtime, homework and extracurriculars. These differences can negatively impact your children’s success. For instance, they’ll skip studying at your house if they’re allowed to play video games after school at your ex-partner’s. You’ll find that a cohesive approach on certain occasions makes a difference.

You won’t be able to control everything about your ex-spouse’s viewpoint. Still, you can talk about school-related rules that both households should follow. Consider a dedicated morning routine for school days to start. You should make your children’s lives generally seamless. It’s not always easy for them to transition between your homes. As a result, you want to maintain some normalcy.

5. Don’t Blame Anyone Else

Your kid’s report card comes back with a few C’s. You may feel like you need to call your ex-partner because it’s their fault, right? After all, they let your children go out until 10 p.m. — and that’s an hour later than your curfew. You need to recognize that they don’t deserve unnecessary blame. They could’ve worked with your kid for hours on homework and studying.

There are always two sides to a story. In fact, your child may have secretly stayed up late to play on their phone. That’s why they performed poorly. It’s essential not to lash out on your ex-spouse for these reasons. If they’re truly at fault, you can have a civil conversation to determine a solution. In general, you need to respect most of the choices they make for your children. 

After all, you agreed to lead with transparency. This effort will keep your kids focused on a successful school year. As always, you should never bring your kids into a fight between you and your ex-spouse. Do your best to be as civil as possible so that you can continue to support your children.

Use These Tips to Navigate Your Children’s School Year as Co-Parents

You and your ex-partner can ensure your children have a productive school year. Use these tips to navigate your situation. It won’t always be easy, but you’ll succeed.