Picture it: It’s 6:00, your kids are finishing up their homework, your husband walks in the door and asks the obligatory question: “What’s for dinner?” You’re frazzled, famished, and all you have in the pantry is some day-old Italian bread and anchovies.
Aviva Goldfarb, author of The Six O’Clock Scramble, found herself in the same situation and did something about it. Aviva takes the stress out of dinner time by providing subscribers with streamlined grocery lists and delicious, simple recipes that your kids will eat! She spoke with Celebrity Parents about healthy eating, and why mealtime should be
How did you come up with The Six O’Clock Scramble?
I had a career in media relations, but after my children were born, I found myself wanting to be a stay-at-home mom and immerse myself in the kids. I started getting interested in cooking and healthy food but couldn’t find recipes that were easy or family-friendly.
I created my own recipes and modified existing ones. In 1998, my friend and I published a cookbook, Peanut Butter Stew and Cous Cous, Too. It got a great response, so in 2003, I created The Six O’Clock Scramble to help families simplify shopping for and preparing their meals.
How can parents make dinnertime simpler?
I think what holds people back is what to make every single day. When I started planning out meals in advance, I found that took the stress out. It also helped to always have the right ingredients in the house.
How does The Six O’Clock Scramble work?
Subscribers receive a weekly email newsletter complete with a grocery list and meals for the week. The meals are designed to be delicious, healthy (unprocessed, low-fat ingredients), and easy to make.
Are you an adventurous cook?
I am, but I like using supermarket ingredients. Like all moms, I don’t have the time to run around to specialty markets looking for exotic ingredients.
You have to view cooking like dating. When you meet a guy you like (in this case, a recipe that you’ve tried), you get all excited about it, and want to tell everyone about it. The Six O’Clock Scramble is all about sharing of good recipes and good food.
I have to ask: what did you make last night for dinner?
I made baked risotto and grated in some yellow squash. I also made a pork chop with lemon pepper sauce. It was delicious!
Who tests the recipes?
My family tests them. My kids test all the recipes to see if they’re kid-friendly. They are really good helpers in the kitchen. We have dinner parties, and we make them the waiter and waitress! It gives them an interest in cooking, and I always have them in the kitchen with me.
Are they good eaters?
Yes, they are. They will try anything. I always say to Solomon, who is 11, and Celia, who is 9, “Just take a bite. It might be your new favorite food!” We went to Spain last year, and we were served snails. I didn’t want to eat them, but Solomon said, “Mom, just take a bite. It might be your new favorite food!”
No, it was gross!
Do the kids like being in the kitchen?
They make salads on their own, and just the other day, Solomon made a smoothie by himself. I think if you include your children in on the cooking process, they are much more likely to eat what they are making. I’m not a big fan of hiding veggies, but I do play a game with them sometimes of “Guess The Secret Ingredient.” One time I made brownies with black beans in them, and they loved them.
It’s so nice how you have incorporated your children into your business.
It’s always a process. When the kids were smaller and the business was just starting, there were days I couldn’t get anything done and I would just cry. Today, I have consultants who help me, and I run the business around the kids’ schedules. We eat dinner together as a family every night, which is something that is very important to my husband Andrew and I.
You’ve also penned a book called The Six O’Clock Scramble Cookbook, which features tons of healthy recipes.
I love providing healthy recipes to people. It encourages families to eat better. But if your child doesn’t like veggies, don’t make a big deal out of it. Kids go through phases, and what they don’t like today they may love tomorrow. It’s all about giving them the opportunity to try it. Eventually, they are going to taste it and hopefully like it!
What are your plans for the future?
I am continuing to grow The Six O’Clock Scramble, and next year, my new book, The Six O’Clock Sustainable Scramble will come out. It is geared towards eco-friendly families who want to help the environment. For example, we’re supporters of the Meatless Monday campaign, which encourages families to eat less meat in their diets.
What would you say to someone who is not the best cook and just wants to put a decent meal on the table?
I communicate with thousands of people and not all of them are foodies. To them, it’s just dinner, and I want to provide them with the tools to make a great meal. It’s important to remember that not every meal has to be a masterpiece. But it can be.