As the mother of two very active teenagers with formerly picky palates, I know what a challenge it can be to get healthy homemade dinners on the table that everyone will eat, and at a reasonable hour of the night. And as the founder of the dinner planning service, The Six O’Clock Scramble (www.thescramble.com), I have learned not only how to serve up healthy meals for my own family (well, at least most nights…), but also help thousands of busy families make nightly dinners a reality.
Like many busy parents, I initially struggled to put a nutritious dinner on the table for my family amidst the chaos of daily life. Recalling my own mom’s simple weekly meal planning strategy, I developed a system that helps parents take the “Scramble” out of the dinner hour by giving them an easy, online meal planning and grocery shopping system, along with fail-proof family-friendly recipes.
My family dinner cookbooks, The Six O’Clock Scramble and SOS! The Six O’Clock Scramble to the Rescue (St. Martin’s Press) debuted in 2006 and 2010. Both the cookbooks and online meal planning service have won praise from reviewers at O Magazine, Working Mother, USA Today, Real Simple, The Washington Post, and many others.
Over the years, I have grown increasingly concerned with how to reduce our environmental impact while still enjoying the foods we love. We buy much of our food locally at farmer’s markets, we have reduced the amount of meat we eat, and the amount of food we waste, started composting, and each day, we pack our kids waste-free (or at least low-waste) lunches. I work these family- and eco-friendly practices into the Scramble’s recipes and seasonal meal plans.
Working with food and health, I also care deeply about hunger and nutrition, especially for children. I have been active in school lunch reform here in my home state of Maryland and often contribute to events and campaigns by great organizations such as Share Our Strength.
But at the end of the day, my greatest joy comes from the daily, simple pleasures of my own family table. My son Solomon recently said, “Mom, thank you so much for making us a delicious dinner every night.” That definitely makes the extra effort well worth it!