Next to being asked “Where do babies come from?” the only other question that makes mothers cringe more is “What’s for dinner?” It’s bad enough having a picky eater at your table, never mind that hockey moms have to serve up meals that are substantial enough for a game day meal for one, light enough for dryland training for another, and somehow versatile enough to reheat three times in the same evening. Meal time is a challenge for any busy mom, but if you’re a hockey mom with multiple ice times on the calendar on any given night, there’s also the added challenge of being super time-crunched. Sigh.
Before going to bed tonight, I assembled our dinner for tomorrow night, a Chunky Chicken Chili recipe in the crockpot and left the whole thing on the garage floor (we live in Ottawa and it’s February, so it’s cold enough to do that this time of year!). Then on my way out the door to work the next morning, I moved it to sit right in front of the door to the house. Why did I do this? So my kids returning from school would actually have to acknowledge its presence when re-entering the house. Then, at precisely 2:54PM, I text one of them:
You will see the crock pot on the garage floor as you come home from the bus. Do not pretend you didn’t see it. Pick it up. Put it in the crock pot holder and plug it in. That is all. Love, Mom
It really doesn’t matter whether you love or hate to cook, if you give two hoots about what your kids out in their mouths, there is only one thing that will get you through feeding your players during the hockey season and that’s a meal plan. A busy mom can ill-afford to go to the grocery store five times a week—even if there is one across the street from the hockey arena. And while all of my kids have certainly tried to convince me otherwise, very little of what’s on the menu at the arena canteen can be found on Canada’s Food Guide.
Soon after my two boys began their minor hockey careers and even before my daughter began hers, I developed the meal planning habit. I print off our weekly calendar—the one with all their ice times and activities listed and various business events—and create weekly menus. Of course I usually put this meal plan together while waiting for one of my kids to come off the ice from practice, and of course I post it to the fridge door, and of course my shopping list is created from this menu plan. Believe me, you will save time, money, unhealthy food choices and reduce the number of times you’ll be asked “What’s for dinner” (at least after your kids have learned to read!).
So the game plan for all hockey moms out there? Work on your meal plan.
And now, I quickly whip up some rice or fries, or whatever is accompanying this chili tonight, and then I group text my whole family to come to the table for supper.
I’m just kidding; I don’t actually text my whole family—just the ones who were not at the hockey arena! Dinner is served!
Three cheers for the home team—and chef hockey mom!
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