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Michelle Duggar: My Kids Love Helping Me in the Kitchen

I don’t know about you, but I get exhausted sometimes just thinking about what to feed my two kids every day. Between shopping, menu planning and taking everyone’s tastes into account (each one likes a different list of vegetables and loathes the other’s preferences), it’s a wonder I manage to nourish them at all.

So I freely tip my hat to Michelle Duggar, who has the unenviable task of feeding the 18 of her 19 children who still live at home, plus herself and husband Jim Bob. That’s 20 stomachs to fill three times a day, not counting snacks and holiday feasts. Yikes.

How does she manage it? With a little teamwork, as she writes in this week’s blog for TLC.

With this large of a crew to feed, she can’t just dash to the convenience store for a couple of ingredients when she finds her cupboard bare. The Duggars sit down weekly to plot out two weeks’ worth of meals, which helps avoid too much duplication and makes it easier to write out a shopping list. There’s usually one main chef designated for each week, who gets to make the decisions about what to cook for his or her stint.

Since many of the kids are still young, you won’t be finding Sweetbreads Au Gratin or Fennel Souffle on the menu. “We’re not going to be trying out too many crazy recipes that young palates won’t be interested in,” Michelle says. “We eat a lot of green salads and veggie trays. Of course, ours are big trays!” For snacks, everyone enjoys sliced tomatoes with salt, pepper and vinegar.

Another key to getting supper on the table quickly is to enlist the children’s help. When they’re old enough, Michelle has each child start to assist with breakfasts and lunches, moving their way up to dinner as they grow older and become more confident in the kitchen. Even 4-year-old Jordyn is starting to pitch in. And no, cooking isn’t strictly women’s work in the traditional Duggar household – 12-year-old Jason and 10-year-old Justin love helping prepare the family meals.

Wisely, though, Michelle doesn’t let things get too crowded. She’s found that setting up teams of three or four works best. “If you get more than that, there are really just too many cooks in the kitchen!” she says.

Maybe we’ll be seeing one of the Duggar kids on Chopped one day!

[Photo: via TLC]

Read more of Shana’s writing at Momsperiments.

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