Fl!p Your K!tchen cover

Greatest hits | What’s for dinner, Mom?

As summer winds down, I’ve been thinking a lot about how the recent changes in our family life are playing out in the kitchen.

My daughter spent her first summer away from home on a fellowship, and it required her to regularly cook for herself for the first time in her life. It was fun to watch her work her way through Fl!p Your K!tchen and figure out that meal planning and cooking from scratch really are manageable even (especially?) when you work a 40-hour week.

And at the end of the summer, she said that still, she’s looking forward to the dining hall opening again despite the fact that she recognizes that she ate very healthy all summer….

My son has his first job, working at a nearby diner where they feed him (a lot), so he is eating at home much less (and eating a lot more not-so-healthy food, much to his delight).

As my husband leaves for his new position in Hong Kong and my daughter—briefly home between summer work and fall semester—heads back to school, my son and I will be finding a new way to show up in the kitchen.

I love the term I recently learned from my friend and colleague Alison Corey at Keeping the Peas: mixed diet family.

(And hey—in addition to being a health coach, Alison is also a yoga instructor and will be teaching a pop-up class before The Brunch Club gathering on September 22. Join us?)

We’ve been a mixed diet family for some time now—half of us preferring to eat gluten-free, half of us tending toward (mostly) vegetarianism—and we’ve still managed to make it all work most of the time with just one meal prepared for the 3–4 of us at home.

As I thought about whittling that down to just 2 of us at the table, I went back to this week’s blog post replay—What’s for dinner, Mom?—where you’ll find a lot of suggestions about meal planning, especially for mixed diet families.

I foresee a lot more “chefing” as in this season of my life, I require (and desire) a lot fewer carbs and less animal protein than my giant son—and I’m looking forward to keeping plenty of those, prepared and ready to use, in the fridge for him while I focus on eating veggies to my heart’s content!

Enjoy the replay, and drop a comment to let me know how your cooking practice has evolved over time as you enter different life stages.