There is one question that plagues me daily… “What’s for dinner?”  While it may sound simple for some, just the idea of meal planning for my family stresses me out.  

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While many people have had great ideas to help meet the needs of our busy family, most of them are unrealistic for us.  One idea that I love is to take one day and make meals that you can freeze and then heat them up throughout the week. However, this is not a good option for my family’s dietary needs.  My son Hunter is on a special caseine-free diet, meaning he cannot have any dairy products.  Unfortunately, this means none of a classic favorite for kids… anything with cheese!  We have found a great cheese alternative for him, and considering that he has been on this diet for 8 years, he is clueless about the authentic cheesy goodness that he is missing out on!  If only the rest of the family could stomach his faux dairy products, it would make things much simpler.  If only!!

Hunter’s dietary restrictions are complicated enough, and coupled with Matthew’s pickiness (he is still in the “I’m going to battle you if I get anything other than chicken nuggets, pizza, and mac and cheese” stage of childhood), it is rare that the entire family can have even one shared dish at dinner.  Hunter would eat a hamburger at every meal if we would let him, and while that seems simple enough, Matthew refuses to eat red meat.  Really?!  On top of all of these complications, I am rarely actually home to have dinner with the family, as I am in class almost every evening.  When I roll in after 10pm, I am typically warming up leftovers or giving in to a bowl of cereal.

In 7 weeks when my gazillion years of college have finally come to an end, my family will hardly know what to think, as they have become so accustomed to fending for themselves.  While I am so excited to finally have the opportunity to return to a more typical life, I will also be back to facing the dreaded question once again… “What’s for dinner?!”