By now you’re probably well versed on The Foodery’s mission to craft nourishing foods that allow people to live healthier lives while supporting and revitalizing New England’s food systems. So enough about us; we wanted to hear more from you! Please meet our Foodery Fan, Charlene, a full time working mom with two active little boys and a working husband. Charlene and her family love the outdoors, and try to make time for any outdoor activity they can schedule in, be it hiking, biking, paddle boarding, boating, skiing or just visiting the beach. Here’s what Charlene has to share with us:
1) What top three food values are most important when making decisions about what you and your family eats?
My goal is to feed myself and my family healthy food that is also good for the planet. Since I have two little boys, flavor and presentation that can appeal to the kids as well as my husband and I is the trickiest 3rd to add in to the mix! Healthy to me means low or no processed foods, low sugar (added sugar, that is), and a good balance of protein/fat/and carb sources. I am not seeking low fat or low carb. I’m seeking responsibly sourced, balanced, healthy, delicious meals that I don’t have to spend hours researching or preparing.
2) What are some fun ways you teach your kids about food values?
I regularly point out foods that are healthy and why vs foods that are junk and why. I would not say I’ve managed to make it fun, but I do hope that in the long term, just talking about it regularly helps develop healthy views towards food. I absolutely LOVE your line that food is an investment, and while I think my kids are still a little too young to make the connection between spending power and food sourcing, that is something I want to help them see as they get older.
3) How do you formulate a plan for your meals each week?
Good question! It’s constant survival mode, honestly. We keep it as simple as humanly possible since we have zero time. We buy some regular groceries supplemented by Foodery Meals.
Breakfast options: eggs, whole milk plain yogurt (add cinnamon, almonds, touch of honey), and sadly, sometimes cereal.
Packed lunch options: some cut veggies and hummus or chips and guac, hard boiled egg, sandwich with deli meat or cream cheese/jelly or sun butter/jelly, whole fruit, cheese stick, water bottle.
Dinner options: Foodery is easiest because you just heat and serve! Otherwise, we stock the freezer with chicken and ground beef – both of which can be combined with greens in a variety of ways for a balanced, yummy, healthy meal. My favorite self made meal that everyone actually loves is a chicken salad. Boil the frozen chicken breast (the pot is SO much easier to clean when you boil it, and the chicken comes out super tender), chop the chicken over a bed of spinach, add Salad Topper (it’s at Costco or on amazon) and cut veggies if you have any. Balsamic and EVOO dressing. SUPER healthy, all four of us gobble it up, fast prep and fast clean up. We make it at least once a week!
4) What’s the biggest challenge you face around food in your household?
Prep time. I don’t want to feed processed meals to my family or include take out as a normal weekly option. But COOKING every night is quite literally not possible. Not like my mom did, anyway. We are all rolling in the door between 5:30 and 6pm each night, and we have to somehow eat and do homework and get ready for bed by 8pm. That’s roughly two hours, maybe that sounds like a lot, but with the antics involved with two crazy little boys running around destroying each other or the house – it’s not enough time at ALL. We are trying so hard to keep dinner sacred. To sit and talk and just be, as a family, for just 20 maybe 30 minutes each day. NOT cooking dinner makes precious room for those sacred minutes.
5) What are a couple trusted food brands or products that you’d recommend and why?
I do love Salad Topper – the kids will snack on it in their lunch and we put it on salads all the time. It’s mostly seeds with some craisins thrown in. I love it because it’s a healthy, whole, flavorful addition to several meals, or by itself. I haven’t researched it though and I don’t even know if it’s organic. I wish I did, but see commentary around having time to research. This is just another way The Foodery saves me time. I am trusting that you guys have done the research and sourcing that I would have liked to do, but don’t have time for. So the Foodery truly IS my most trusted food item! I wish I had more, believe me.
6) What brought you to The Foodery?
I was sitting in my car on a weekend, stressing about the upcoming week and what to buy, when to shop and how to make it happen faster and healthier. Because of poor planning, we were starting to buy fast food or prepared food a lot and that is not at all how I wanted to live. I had begun to realize I needed help trying to balance my life with a job and babies and a huge, relentless stressor was food! I would go to Whole Foods and still be frustrated with their number system on meats and the limited selection of highest quality, responsibly sourced beef. My husband would try to buy ‘healthy’ cereals but upon reading the labels I would show him it was still loaded with sugar. If Whole Foods couldn’t help me I felt lost in a sea of false marketing. I did not have time to research and hunt around at stores or online to find food that aligned with my goals. I thought, surely I’m not the first person to think this, there must be help out there! So I started googling and searching Facebook for meal delivery services. I was happy to see there are a lot of options but some we tried still required more prep than advertised, or the packaging was so incredibly wasteful I couldn’t stand creating that much garbage. The Foodery checked off every box for me. Minimal packaging, zero prep, healthy for us AND the earth. The goals of the Foodery are perfectly aligned with my own. Viewing food as an investment, a way to promote change in the way food gets to our mouths, all while delivering convenient options right to my doorstep. A purchase I can make that saves me time, gives me something I desperately need, is good for my family and good for the earth. Slam dunk!
7) What do you appreciate most about The Foodery experience?
The most important factor for me is the time it saves and that it’s delicious, but that would be true with other meal delivery services, or even take out. What keeps me ordering from the Foodery is their alignment with my personal goals of healthy, responsibly sourced food that I can feel good about purchasing and feeding to my family.
8) If you were stranded on a desert island with a lifetime supply of three food items, what would those be?
Who wrote this question. Is it a trick? 🙂 Healthy eating should include a wide variety of foods!! If my goal is to stay alive on only 3 foods for the rest of my life, I’d want to research that. In my house…I don’t think we could make it through a week without bananas, spinach and eggs.
10) What is your favorite meal from The Foodery?
I generally like all (or most?, need a better way to capture!) the casseroles for several reasons. They tend to be something everyone likes, they tend to be freezable, and they tend to feed all four of us for two full dinners, not just one.