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MOMS TALK: New and Exciting Family Menus (NOT)!

Stuck in a rut? Let's help each other out and share creative dinner and snack ideas! Spring Sports season is on, and so is finding creative fuel for our little athletes.

MOMS TALK: New and Exciting Family Menus (NOT)!

Has food gotten really boring at your house lately? The Winter blahs may have permeated the menu as well as the mood. But look in the produce section at the local or . A menu make-over can start with great strawberries and new cantaloupes, and more.

But produce won't fix the whole problem. In our house we have one young picky eater who has a sports schedule that creates a need for a "small pre-game" dinner at 5:30 or so (can't go later or will be sorry on the field later!), and a "final" dinner at about 10:30 which needs to have enough carbs and protein recovery calories to keep the machine running. 

Here's what I'd like to be serving: Baked salmon marinated in a soy/sesame sauce, with rice pilaf and steamed asparagus or broccoli.

Here's what I really serve: Pasta, ham and cheese sandwiches, quesadillas, and more pasta, the boxed stuff by Pasta Roni. Most chicken, burgers and fish get the thumbs down from the picky eater, so what's left?

Here are a couple more interesting and not too time-consuming ideas:

Beans, Cheese and Chips: Partially heat refried beans in the microwave, add grated cheese and heat some more until the cheese melts. Serve with corn chips (yes a whole grain and many are gluten free). You can add salsa, chopped olives or cilantro. 

Smoked pulled pork (already prepared and sold by Costco). It's great on its own, or served with bar-b-que sauce. Best served on onion buns.

Fresh Asian noodles (tiny angel-hair type noodles) with peanut sauce. The noodles are from the refridgerator section. Boil them one minute, put in cold water to stop the cooking, and when ready, fry them in a pan with canola oil and some pressed garlic. The "Joy of Cooking" peanut sauce recipe is simple--coconut milk, peanut butter, soy sauce, brown sugar (optional fish sauce, curry paste). 

Here are my latest side dishes and snacks (in addition to basic fruits and veggies, which must be already peeled, chopped and displayed in the center of the eating arena just at the right time): Toasted whole wheat bread with cinnamon sugar on it. The cinnamon sugar puts this in the positive column. Carnation instant breakfast. Boxes of chocolate and strawberry milk (post workout takes the place of gatorade), and whole grain Fig Newtons (of course this is a fruit).

The challenge is on. Send in your best meal or snack idea. 

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