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making meals for moms
Story by Shaila Creekmore Photo by Dero Sanford

Each evening, in cars across the city, children feast on fast food as they are driven to their numerous after-school activities. Whether it is between cheerleading and ballet or baseball and soccer, parents do their best to fit in dinner for their families – when and where they can get it.

A Jonesboro-based business, Meals for Moms recently expanded its business in hopes of helping busy

parents and children get a quick dinner with healthier options.
“I recently read an article that said: ‘The typical burger, soda and fries that you and I ate as kids contain an average of 214 more calories today than that same meal did in the 1970s—enough to add at least three pounds of weight a year to your child’s body, even if he or she ate that fast-food meal just once a week.’ That really caught my attention,” said Lindley Williams, owner of Meals for Moms. “The goal of Meals for Moms is to provide a healthy alternative and still be able to give families the option to have a ‘fast’ meal on the table.”

Williams began her business in May 2007 mostly by word of mouth. She prepared entrée dishes for families and delivered them to their homes ready to be heated in the oven or frozen. Even while maintaining a job in her degree field of marketing during the last two years, she continued to prepare and deliver meals to her many customers. In September, she was able to expand her business by leasing a space where she could cook full-time. Located at the corner of Harrisburg and Parker roads, the building had recently been renovated for a similar type of business and was available for lease.

“I was on my way to an appointment when I passed and saw the lease sign. I thought, ‘Oh, that’s perfect,’ but I kept driving. After a couple of minutes, I had to turn around and go back. I knew this was what I had been looking for,” said Williams.

Since moving into the building, Williams has begun expanding her customer base through e-mail, social networking sites and old-fashioned flyers she has spread to businesses and offices across the city. Meals for Moms, whose slogan is “I make it, you bake it,” prepares meals ready to go into the oven to be baked or simply reheated. The meals can also be frozen for later use and come with thawing and baking instructions. Each week, William’s menu includes five meals that can be ordered for any day of the week.

“I give the customer’s five options, but I don’t set a certain meal on certain days. Any of the five can be prepared for any day or I can have all five ready to pickup on one day,” said Williams. “All of the entrée’s are take and bake or heat and serve.”

A few of Meals for Moms most requested menu items are chicken and dumplings, Mexican chicken, chicken spaghetti, lemon and basil chicken with carrots and potatoes, bacon and feta stuffed chicken, and apple cider pork tenderloin. Williams does not offer sides unless specifically requested, but points out that many of her dishes are complete meals in themselves.

Along with the expansion, Williams was able to add desserts and breads to her menu. Each week, she offers three desserts such as carrot and Italian cream cakes, pecan, millionaire and peanut butter pies and brownies. Cakes and pies can be special ordered and do not have to be accompanied with a meal. Williams has sweet and savory breads ready for purchase any time.

For those on a diet or with special dietary needs, Meals for Moms can work with you to meet your special needs including allergies. And if you want to claim the food as your own, Williams will use your dishes so that no one will know your little secret.

“I am often called to make a meal for someone to take to another family. People still want to take a meal to someone who’s had a new baby, a death in the family or who might be sick, but they don’t necessarily have time themselves to make it,” said Williams.

Cooking classes are another new option that Williams is excited to offer in the new location. The one-time classes will show cooking techniques and complete meals being prepared that the class will then share together for dinner. Classes are announced periodically and cost $35 including instruction and dinner. For a girl’s night out, Meals for Moms also offers privately booked classes at a reduced rate for groups.

For the holiday season, Meals for Moms is offering a Christmas party list menu and Christmas Day menu in addition to her weekly menu during December. The Christmas party list has hot and cold appetizers ready to go to any holiday party throughout the month. A few examples of her menu are sausage balls, hot or cold spinach dip and crab dip, and cheese and relish trays.

For Christmas dinner, you can order cranberry salad, cornbread dressing, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, cheesy corn casserole, broccoli and rice casserole, squash casserole and hash brown casserole. For the main course, Meals for Moms will have smoked hams available through pre-order. A number of desserts will be available as well. All Christmas dinner orders placed before Dec. 16 will receive the early bird special pricing, and no orders will be accepted after Dec. 23.

For more information, contact Meals for Moms at 934-8881 or to receive weekly e-mailed menus, e-mail Williams at mealsformomsjtown@gmail.com. Meals for Moms is open Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.