Weeknights are hard for us.
But, especially weeknights.
We are exhausted from work and school.
We usually have at least three locations to be by 5:30 p.m. and only one person who can drive – me.
DudeDad isn’t home in time to get Dudes to their locations, and none of these children are of driving age yet.
NOT THAT I AM AT ALL READY FOR KIDS DRIVING!
Sure, we have help (shout out to all of the neighbors and teammates who carpool with us and to all of the coaches who are lenient when we show up late because I had to drive two other kids across town and back before the third kid could be delivered—you are my people), but when it comes down to it, I like to streamline and easierify (totally made up word meaning to make easier, not easy, because nothing about parenting is easy, but easier) life as much as possible.
And food options are a big part of that.
Now that The Dudes are creeping up on manhood (NOT READY, STILL NOT READY!), I like to involve them in the process as much as possible.
I want them to feel comfortable in the kitchen—to not feel like they need to rely on me or anyone else to help them nourish their bodies. And I want to sneak in a little family time too.
Eating meals together has always been hugely important to us. When winter sports, work and school are keeping our schedule so busy, we can’t always have both Mom and Dad at the dinner table (we have to eat before Dad comes home pretty much every day). But, my goal is to get as many meals around the table with myself and The Dudes as possible. We are distraction-free diners in our house, which means no matter where we eat (restaurant or home), we do so without phones or tablets so we can truly reconnect.
And it’s especially important to find this time during the winter months when lack of sunlight and ridiculous Maryland weather means we can’t go to the lake together on the weekends or spend time after school working or playing together in the yard.
When The Dudes were younger, this time was easier to come by—in fact, alone time was something of an enigma. But, now that they’re older and everything is pulling everyone away, we fit it in by having them in the kitchen with me for dinner prep, too.
It’s a nice way to meet a need (feeding the hungry people in a relatively quick manner) and accomplish a goal that’s important to our family (fitting in family time).
Almost always, pizza is the answer.
Cooking with Kids: Pizza Brings Our Family Together
When time is no issue, we are all about rolling out our own crust and making a night of the experience, but that’s just not our reality during the week.
Ellio’s Pizza is an easy-to-make, convenient alternative that we can pair with a salad and fresh fruit to create a weeknight meal we feel good about eating.
The Dudes can be a part of the process—in fact, they don’t even really need me at all.
When dinner is served, everyone can enjoy something they created together that is filling, delicious, and made with the freshest ingredients (100% real cheese and no artificial flavors) too.
We are pretty basic and like to buy the Ellio’s Original Crust Cheese Pizza. They think it’s fun to add their own toppings, but when we are short on time or in between shopping nights, we can just enjoy it as is.
For those more daring, they also have Pepperoni, Supreme, Five Cheese, Italian Sausage & Pepperoni, & Extra Cheese with original crust as well as Sicilian Style Five Cheese and Sicilian Style Pepperoni with more cheese and a thicker crust. You can see which local retailers carry the Ellio’s products by using their store locator. Take a look at their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages for the latest news!
Whatever you like, Ellio’s has an option that will suit you. And your weeknights, your family, and your belly will thank you.
This is a sponsored post on behalf of Dr. Oetker USA LLC. I received compensation for this post, however all opinions stated are my own.