Disclaimer: In no way am I a professional in the area of health care, nor in the area of what is best to force a child to eat and what battles to leave be. As always, positive comments are always welcome. Build up, not tear down, y’all!
[mks_dropcap style=”letter” size=”52″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]I[/mks_dropcap]n our house, we have five different types of eaters. And yes, there are five members in my adorable family 🙂 The Mister; he eats anything I make, even back in the day when I didn’t follow any, I mean, ANY recipe. He would just nicely tell me never to make that again…after he asked what recipe I used. Lil’ A; she fluctuates. Right now she is eating whatever I make as well as making good choices with her snacks. I have her teacher at Pre-K to thank for helping me in that area. Lil’ E is my strong-willed child…and that also means in the food area. Right now she is thriving on milk and PB and J. I’m just thankful it isn’t cheese or something of that nature that should be controlled for health sake.
Baby M; he likes food, but is picky about texture at times. And then there is me. I actually could eat salad every day, every meal with a bit of soup thrown in. I am not one to eat a lot of meat. I do enjoy fish and if it was health to consume that at every meal, I would. I used to have tuna fish sandwiches every day from the day I got on my braces until my last day in Grade 12. It was easy on Braces check up day:)
So I follow the advice that I once hear from a friend’s mom, “Pick 5 meals everyone likes and just keep them coming.” Makes sense doesn’t it? (You could pick more than that, just don’t pressure yourself to make 30 different meals for the month. I know I don’t have that many ideas) I really don’t remember any fancy meals growing up. And none of us have had health problems from not getting enough salmon. (If you get what I mean)
I decided that I wasn’t going to get my children used to eating hot meals at lunch either. Nothing makes a teacher more distraught at lunch time when half her class is upset because they can’t heat their food in the one microwave before they go outside. While we as teachers adore our students (mostly…), we do need time to go to the washroom and talk to the principal about your child’s behavior (good or bad…) and mostly that happens at lunch. Do your future children’s teachers a favor, and teach them to like sandwiches, thermos’ with warm food from home, and crackers, cheese and meat (if your family eats it). These are all easy foods to make (oh and hold the peanut butter every so often now, as you will have to later).
(“Helping” make PB & J)(One of many, many picks from our garden in 2013)
With all that said, here’s my current meal plan. I am not too strict and sometimes I get a “good” idea (that sometimes backfires..hehe), but it helps with the grocery shopping (more on that later…)
Sunday: Leftovers, Day out (usually at a grandparent’s place)
Monday: Fish, Rice and Veggies
Tuesday: Stir-Fry (Beef or Chicken)
Wednesday: Leftovers from Stir-fry….(I usually make a lot!) or Taco night
Thursday: Taco Night (if Leftover kicked it out) or Pasta Night
(Sorry about the half finished plate…I remembered after I started eating that I wanted to take a photo.)
*I grown a lot of herbs in our little greenhouse in the summer, so our pasta is always homegrown herb and/or tomato sauce. My kids love it!
Friday: Pizza Night
*This was my family’s tradition. We always had homemade pizza. I never remember ordering pizza until I was dating the Mister. Just now my dad started buying frozen pizzas.
Saturday: Usually by now we have some leftovers kicking around. Usually because the Mister forgot to take his lunch a few times later in the week.
(Baby M’s meal planning is a whole other story…more to come..)
Overall, this has started to work for me. It’s less stress. I do sometimes use my crock pot. Lately I have used it to make chili and tomato sauce. I really like how well the flavors mix and develop when it has time to sit.
Cost wise, I try to keep our bill about 175.00/week (without diapers, wipes and toiletries.) We now have 5 eaters not 4.5 or even just 3, because we kindof skipped to 4.5 from 3 mainly because of how close Lil’ E and Baby M are. We do plant a garden and I do buy some organics, so that usually balances out through the year. I don’t buy organic often at the grocery store, though. I like to find farmers and go through them. Many of my friends have gone this route, so I just ask around. Overall, we spend about 800.00 on food including eating out. Right now anyway…ask me in a few years when my Baby M isn’t so much a baby anymore.
(Jalapeño Pepper Plants….yes plants. Fortunately some of our friends love them. I did try one, and it was very, very taste, but extremely hot!)
I also don’t grocery shop with my children often. Even if it means I go out at 7pm. Faster way less distraction, and I get some me time.
(One exception…picking strawberries out at a local farm)
So, that’s how we do food here. Simple is better. I have finally found things everyone likes. I do mix things up a bit. A soup here. Chili there. BBQ in the summer. But these are our staples. On Saturdays, the Mister makes a classic egg, bacon and toast breakfast. And sometimes Breakfast becomes lunch:)
The best thing I’ve found is to read a lot and try only a little. Way less overwhelming. Freezer meals never worked for me. Overwhelming and I missed steps in assembly I think.
Happy Meal Organizing!