altI think Plato was inspired by his own mom when he said, “Necessity is the mother of invention.”

Creative in a pinch, moms I know have used feminine protection pads as pseudo diapers, long sleeves in lieu of snot-wiping tissues, and even, desperate to entertain their own babies, created videos (thus, the Baby

Einstein brand was born).

My own ingenuity was sparked by a stressful Sunday scene. We attend church at the latest time on

Sunday mornings – 11:15 a.m. (truthfully, we skid in around 11:30 a.m.). Don’t worry; we reap our

punishment as soon as church gets out. Smack dab in the middle of lunch and nap time, we race back to

the house with a whiny preschooler and screaming toddler. The microwave whirs, dishes clank, and milk

sloshes into cups as we try to speed feed our high-chair hecklers. Despite our pit stop efforts, the kids

inevitably hate what we serve, are too tired to eat and then rushed into bed with empty stomachs and

tear-stained cheeks.

That happened every week until one miraculous Sunday. Running low on groceries, we served cereal for

lunch. As the bowls were placed in front of the girls, there in my suburban home, the heavens opened

up, and angels descended upon our scuffed kitchen table and danced a Lucky Charms jig. Well, maybe it

wasn’t that holy, but peace and harmony prevailed that day. Bellies were filled, tears went unshed and

we declared “Cereal Sunday” a weekly tradition.

“Cereal Sunday” was soon followed by “Pizza & Movie Friday” to kick start a relaxing weekend. Our

food-based traditions give us something special to look forward to as a family – for the kids, a treat; for

my husband and me, some much-need serenity.

What are your family’s food-based traditions and how did they get their start?