Our family was out of town over the weekend so I wasn’t able to get my weekly meal plan up. I’ve been keeping my old meal plans and picked a low maintenance one for this week. It’s amazing how meal planning saves time.
Our getaway weekend was with an amazing group of friends and their kids. We rented a big house in Lake Arrowhead. There were 9 kids ranging in age from 5 months to almost 4 years. Each of the 5 families was responsible for one of the meals. We had egg sandwiches, pancakes, casserole, lasagna, and sandwiches.
The sandwiches stood out because the kids loved them. I feel like some people just have that touch when it comes to making a meal extra good. And my friend Dan is definitely one of them.
When I saw him cooking the onions and carefully cutting the bread I asked him if he does this at home and he said “yes.” He told me that the secret to a great sandwich isn’t what’s on the inside, it’s what’s on the outside. “The bread has to be awesome.”
He made two types of sandwiches. The first was turkey and avocado, which the kids mostly ate. And the second was mozzarella sandwiches, which the adults seemed to fancy. After we were all full, Dan provided me with ingredients and instructions for eating.
Turkey & Avocado: Honey mustard, tomato, turkey, avocado, caramelized onions, and black pepper on a nice French or sourdough baguette. Devour.
Cheese Sandwich: Drizzle balsamic vinaigrette on a nice French or sourdough baguette, put tomato slices, fresh mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil leaves. Black pepper to taste. Scarf down.
I waited too long to take pictures. I wasn’t in blogging mode until I started eating so I grabbed my camera and took some quick shots. The picture above is of the cheese sandwich. We served the kids the sandwiches with a variety of other foods like veggies and fruit. It was fun to see each of the kids’ eating styles.
Later on, when the kids were in bed we talked about feeding, my favorite subject. Dan, the sandwich guy, said that the key message he’s gotten from my blog is to keep meals pleasant and totally absent of negativity. His wife Bethany agreed. Their daughter is almost two and is having fun exploring all the different foods out there.
When you think about pleasurable meals as the goal it changes your perspective. A good meal is no longer about little ones eating their veggies or trying something new — it’s that they enjoyed coming to the table and left feeling good. This pleasure principle will encourage them to try new foods and eat a more well-rounded diet.
Another friend talked about how hard it is to let her kids have something sweet when they barely touch their meal. I understand this is a tough one for many parents. I touched on this in my last picky eating article but plan to discuss it more in my upcoming managing sweets series.
Right as I got home I received an email from a mom who said she had just got back from vacation with her family. She felt guilty because her kids weren’t as adventurous eaters as the other kids on the trip. It’s important for parents not to be hard on themselves when it comes to feeding. All kids can learn to like a variety of foods if given the opportunity.
And I had my embarrassing moment of the trip. The second night we decided to do a quick and easy meal for the kids so the adults could have dinner together. So the kids got chicken nuggets and fries. When my daughter sat down to eat she said, “This is the best dinner ever!”
She sure did make her dietitian-mom proud.
Merri Ann says
Well, chicken nuggets and fries ARE tasty … Ronald MacDonald says so at every opportunity … just don’t let them get cold … they turn in to something that is unrecognizable as food.
I just had a similar experience with my daughter … two nights ago she announced that she hadn’t had a vegetable since she left Texas … that was July 1st. I hope she is wrong about that … I’m so tired from our move to California I honestly can’t remember.
I’m looking forward to the “managing sweets” posts. I think I could be doing a much better job in that area.
Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD says
Moving is hard, especially with kids. Hopefully things will settle soon.
They had the dinasour chicken tenders that are a little bit healthier. At least that’s what I keep telling myself ; )
I completely agree that bread can make the difference between a good and a great sandwich. I also really like adding something warm to a sandwich like Dan’s carmelized onions . I have added warm spinach to turkey sandwiches with gruyere cheese for a tasty treat. You can also toast the bread for your sandwich or press it panini style to get the warm touch. The possibilities are endless and definitely makes good finger food for the kids!
Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD says
Great ideas. Must try!
Those sandwiches look great. I think the caramelized onions would make the turkey & avocado sandwich! I hope you check out No Whine Wednesday – we’re featuring spinach today.’