While your inner locavore wants to embrace the slow food movement, the 9-to-5 grind means quick-and-simple meals are the order of the day.To learn to make real food in real time, we asked moms Dr. April Otero and Sherri York of Crunchtime to help us get in and out of the grocery store — and on our way to a homemade meal.Reality BitesThere’s nothing wrong with ambition, but filling your cart with too many perishables or new foods is a beginning chef’s turnoff. They suggest keeping meals simple to start — or you’ll likely give up.Plan AheadThey like to pick one or two main ingredients and fresh herbs each week to prepare several meal variations. For example, buy double your needs in chicken breasts, broccoli, and red potatoes. On the first night, roast all of the chicken and potatoes and blanch broccoli. Night two, stir-fry leftover chicken and broccoli with spices and add in another vegetable. On the last night, make a soup with remaining chicken and any vegetables you have on hand.Map It OutStart by shopping the perimeter of the store — that’s where you find fresh produce, dairy, meats, and fish. Otero and York venture in to center aisles only to replenish the pantry with oils, dry herbs, baking goods, grains, pasta, and beans.Prep SchoolMake time to clean, peel, chop, and store your veggies before filling the fridge. They like to blanch tougher vegetables like broccoli and asparagus to get them ready for stir-fries, salads, and frittatas.Kid FriendlyFinally, they suggest taking your little along to the store. You’ll be surprised by how much kids like Brussels sprouts or dragon fruit when they do the choosing.For more tips and recipes, go to crunchtimefood.com.Photo: Noel Hendrickson / Getty ImagesLIGHT UPLantern FestivalWhat: Stroll the re-created traditional village street fair featuring acrobatic performances, interactive workshops, arts and crafts, and brilliant lantern displays.Why: Catch the glow-in-the-dark dragon.When: Sat., noon-7 p.m.Where: Chinese American Museum, 425 N. Los Angeles St., at Arcadia St. (213-485-8567). Admission is free.ENCHANTReal Princess Story TimeWhat: This princess party has a nature theme. Decorate flower pots and plant flowers to take home.Why: Her majesty will approve.When: Tues., 3 p.m.Where: Books and Cookies, 2230 Main St., at Strand St., Santa Monica (310-362-3103). Kids, $15.CREATEMacro Collage WorkshopWhat: Kids ages 2-4 and their folks make a layered collage on canvas using paint, glue, fabric, paper, and yarn.Why: Art that’s larger than life.When: Today, 2 p.m.Where: Play, 5814 W. Third St., b/t Cochran & Cloverdale Aves. Reservations (required) to 323-988-1189. Kids, $15.