Fall is a very busy time for parents, whether they work outside the home or are full-time stay-at-home moms and dads. One of the most common struggles parents face is having a home cooked meal prepped and ready to go once the kids get home from school or after school activities. Author, parenting expert and organizer Mary Carlomagno was kind enough to join me for an interview this week to share some of her favorite tips on how parents can stay on track this season and overcome some of the challenges they face readjusting to a fall schedule, her favorite quick and easy meal ideas and much more!
Candace Rose: Do you have any advice on how busy moms and dads can stay on track this season?
Mary Carlomagno: “Absolutely. I partnered with some great brands to help us keep moving everything along. It’s something hard to juggle home, life, school, kids – all the things that you need to juggle in a day, so I have some delicious options for you.
They say that the family that eats together stays together and that’s certainly true of my family. As a full-time mom, I know this first hand. You certainly can’t go wrong with Ore-Ida Tater Tots potatoes. They have been around for 60 years, they are an icon. They are a mainstay of the American table. They have the quality I look for. I had them as a little girl and now I can prepare them for my kids which is fun. You can use them as a side dish, you can use them as an appetizer. What we’ve done for you today is created them as an ingredient for a main dish by taking a little nachos. These are called Chicken Enchilada Tatchos (please see video above for details). You can pair these with pico de gallo or avocado on top. It’s a great thing that your kids and your family will love.”
Candace Rose: What are some of the challenges busy moms face readjusting to a busy fall schedule?
Mary Carlomagno: “Well, it’s often very difficult to readjust, so I like to do things that prepare you, whether that means stocking your pantry or your freezer with essentials. Every once and while during the fall you have an impromptu guest and you want to prepare something for them quickly, which is why I like the InnovAsian Cuisine chicken entrees. They have General Tso’s, they have Sweet & Sour, they have Orange. You can create your own dipping sauces for these. They’re 100% chicken breast and they’re lightly tempura battered. They’re really easy to prepare in oven or microwave, and you can find them very easily in your grocers freezer, so it’s something nice to have on hand.”
Candace Rose: Is there anything else that busy moms can do to stay on track?
Mary Carlomagno: “Definitely. Dinnertime can often be very preparation intensive so I think it’s important to again, stock your pantry with your go-to items. My favorite go-to item is the Success Boil-in-Bag. This is the original 10 minute boil in bag rice – no mess, measuring…it is fool proof. It’s very versatile. Again, you can have this for lunch, dinner, snack, even think of this for breakfast and dessert. What we’ve prepared for you today is a Stuffed Pepper using the rice (please see video above for details). You can use any variety of the rice. It creates a wonderful wholesome option that your family is going to love, plus you can sneak those veggies in. They probably won’t notice because they’re enjoying this so much.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share?
Mary Carlomagno: “Definitely. The adjustment from summer to fall is no easy task. These little stresses can cause big headaches, so when they strike use Excedrin Extra Strength. And for help with life’s other headaches, Excedrin.com/FastFixes has tips for everything busy moms struggle with this time of year.”
Candace Rose: Where can we go for more information?
Mary Carlomagno: “Definitely check me out on Twitter and Facebook. I’m always posting tips and recommendations, and you’ll see all of the brands that we partnered with as well.”