I got home a little later than normal last night, trying to get some extra things done at the office. On the way, I stopped by the grocery store and picked up some oriental beef in a can, complete with vegetables, a bag of rice and a bottle of soy sauce. Robyn and the boys weren’t going to be home until 8pm, after Wednesday church school let out, and I knew they’d be hungry. I still had cows and sows to feed after I arrived, so, with dinner making up to me, it was going to have to be voluminous, but relatively quick to prepare. Basically I cooked the rice and heated the beef, vegetables and sauce, and ta-da, in about twenty minutes, supper was served!
I was thrilled as the boys rolled in the door, asking what I had made because it smelled so good! They continued the thrill as they loaded their plates and began shoveling with their chop sticks (they love to use chopsticks and have amazed me at their ability to maneuver and actually get food to their mouths with them – I still prefer a fork for home-made oriental food!) As usual, however, they began to compare their plates and it wasn’t long until Donell noted that he didn’t get as many chunks of beef as his brothers had. Trying to be a good host, I graciously gave him a couple from my plate. “I wish it had more beef in it”, he noted, “otherwise it’s really good!” I agreed that the company that made the canned product would do itself a favor by adding more. My wife offered that maybe next time we could prepare some sliced steak to add to it in order to beef it up more. Donell looked up grinning and said, “…or, we could just have steak!” I love that boy!
Healthful kids meals are reported to be one of the hottest trends for restaurants in 2009. Many fast-food places offer fruit in place of traditional side-items or milk instead of soda. Chefs indicate that more fruit and vegetable options as well as smaller servings will be among the top-twenty menu items for this year.
Another thing that helps kids enjoy good food is to have family meal-times together. We try hard to have dinner together every night. It’s a great time to find out what’s going on at school, share stories and educate children about family history and philosophy.
The beef industry recognizes that family meal-time whether eaten at home or in a restaurant is great for both the parents and the kids. In fact we put together a special website, www.family-mealtimes.org, that is devoted to helping families pull together for dinner. You’ll find fun recipes, ideas for getting conversations started and even great ideas for improving our environment.
The Kleiboeker boys will be eating steak for dinner at least once this next weekend. Donell plans to see to that!