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In The Kitchen With Juvilynn Arbuthnot & Amy’s

Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano

Photography by Maria Del Rio

A California mama and her family take a test-drive of Amy's brand-new Family Size Entrées. The verdict? Clean plates, happy faces, and full bellies.

What does mealtime usually look like at your home?

“Mealtimes vary depending on whether it's a weekday or the weekend. Mornings are the most chaotic as there's such a rush to get everyone out the door by 8 a.m. and we're also dealing with preparing four lunches, each of which vary slightly. The kids eat breakfast together at the kitchen dining table.”

“The only shared sit-down, whole-family meal during the week is dinner, which we begin preparing around 6:30 p.m. Though it's still pretty boisterous in the kitchen due to the number of people in our family, it feels less rushed and it's a good time for us to connect with each other.”

Do you have a philosophy around feeding your family?

“My husband and I both work full time. In an ideal world, we would love to make all of our meals from scratch. We end up relying on microwaveable/air-fryable meals a lot during the week. On weekends, we enjoy dining out at the many amazing restaurants in the Bay Area, or, if there's time, my husband, an amazing cook, will make us one of his delicious dishes.”

“Amy’s meals—both the Amy’s Drive Thru and microwaveable dishes—have been a huge part of our mealtime routine since we began our family.”

Where does Amy's figure into your family's mealtime routine?

Amy's meals, both the Amy’s Drive Thru and microwaveable dishes, have been a huge part of our mealtime routine since we began our family. It's a fast and easy way to get nutritious food into our diet, and without compromising taste. All of it is so yummy, and our very picky kids are always down for an Amy's meal.”

What Amy's staples are in rotation at your home?

“In constant rotation are Amy's Mexican Casserole, 3 Cheese & Kale Bake Bowl, Cheese Enchiladas, Pesto Tortellini, all the pizzas. and all the burritos. Really, they are all good!”

“We visit Amy's Drive Thru, on average, twice a week. Again, we love everything on the menu. Our Drive Thru go-to's are the burger, regular fries, sweet potato fries, chili fries, salads, pizza, and mac 'n' cheese.”

What do you think about Amy's new Family Size meals?

“We are very excited about Amy's new Family Size meals as it accommodates our big family better!”

How important is eating organic, plant-based, and non-GMO to you?

“Those are all things we highly prioritize when it comes to what we feed our family. As most people, we want high-quality ingredients in our meals and wish to reduce our exposure to harmful substances, especially in our children's precious growing bodies. We try to stay educated about these things to inform our dining choices. We don't always have a perfect diet, but we do make an effort to keep it healthy and organic.”

Did you always know you wanted a big family?

“I was one of three kids in my family, and my husband was one of six. As overwhelming as it's been raising four children, we both are familiar with being in a big family. When I was really young, I remember dreaming of having two boys and two girls. When I became an adult, I wasn't so much focused on the number, but just wanting very much to have children, plural—but no more than three! Four seemed like a lot, and now that I have that reality, I've found it to be, indeed, a lot! There are so many challenges, but I don't regret it one bit. I just wish I had more time to spend with each kid.”

What are your kids most into at the moment?

“Sebastian and Skylar both started piano lessons last year, and both have turned out to be impressive naturals. It was always my dream to raise musically-inclined children, so it's been really nice to hear them playing the piano in our home every day.”

“The girls both just joined soccer and so far really love it. Stella is high-energy and is obsessed with gymnastics, but had to take a break from it after breaking her arm last year; hopefully we'll get her back to classes next spring. She is constantly doing cartwheels in the meantime! Skylar also loves singing and wants to get into ballet.”

“Soren is only in preschool, so no formal activities yet. He does have a big imagination and loves both independent play and hanging out with his siblings.”

“Another challenge with having so many children is having the calendar taken over by all of their activities! As they get older, it's only going to get more and more activity-filled. Not mad about that, but, also, WHOA!”

“I wanted very much to have children, plural—but no more than three! Four seemed like a lot, and now that I have that reality, I’ve found it to be, indeed, a lot!”

What excites you about motherhood right now?

“Our youngest is finally out of diapers and all the kids are pretty self-sufficient and more helpful. So, it's been nice getting more time to myself, which in turn I feel makes me a better mother.”

“I joke that someday I won't have to lift a finger in terms of household upkeep, because I'll have enough helping hands around the house.”

“I also love that I can have full-on meaningful conversations with them now. I think of myself more like a shepherd, watching them blossom into the wonderful people they are becoming and just being there to guide and support them and their interests as they grow. It's been the ultimate joy to watch unfold.”

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