I can’t believe summer is almost over. I’m sorry the weekly meals plans have been less frequent. I’ve still been doing them, just taking some time off from writing.
But now I’m back. And it’s perfect timing because fall is my favorite cooking season. I can’t wait to start making soups and chili again.
I’m still experimenting with different bean and cheese burrito recipes to find “the one” for freezing. This week I’m trying a more time-intensive one from Rockin Robin. That’s where I got my excellent chicken fajitas recipe from. If it works out, I can cook these on the weekend and have them ready for quick lunches or dinners during the week.
Also, Big A has started soccer and we have practices on Wednesdays late. I’m going to make sure there are leftovers from Tuesday so we can eat in a hurry.
As always, for more meal plan ideas see Org Junkie.
What’s Cooking This Week?
Monday: Bean and cheese burritos with toppings
Tuesday: Meat Lasagna with fruit, salad and green beans (Doubling recipe to take one to a friend who just had a baby)
Wednesday: leftovers/kids choice
Thursday: Teriyaki Chicken Bowl with fruit salad (trying out a new teriyaki sauce I got from Trader Joes — no recipe, just winging it)
Friday: Make Your Own Mini pizzas with salad/fruit
Salad of the week: Cranberry Spinach Salad
Get organized week
It’s week 2 of The Take Back Dinner Time Challenge and the focus is on getting organized. This is definitely my weak spot!
In this week’s video Real Simple editor Kristin van Ogtrop has a tough time planning her family dinners and Food Director Allie Lewis Clapp’s provides solutions and recipe ideas including a printable meal planner.
Join the live Q&A session Thursday, September 1 from 3-4 p.m. with Food Editor Dawn Perry to ask questions and get expert answers about grocery shopping, planning meals and organizing your kitchen.
I’m planning a really extensive post later in the week to help you all (and me) get some organizing tips for getting meals on table. I have already interviewed a couple of experts and wanted to get some ideas from you. What is something you do to streamline in the kitchen that really works? If you have a useful tip, send me a message through my contact form.
The Summer News
Researchers at Penn State found that by pureeing veggies into preschoolers food, kids got twice as many vegetables and consumed 11% less fewer calories than those who ate the standard fare.
I know there’s a lot of controversy about sneaking vegetables into kids diets. And here’s what I think: As long as there is no deception about what you are doing, and you have the time, I have no problem with it. Trust in feeding is of the utmost importance. If a child finds out you are sneaking a vegetable they don’t like into their food, it can break that trust. And they’ll think “Vegetables are so bad tasting my mom has to sneak them in.”
Also in the news is a controversial new a children’s book coming out in October: Maggie Goes on A diet. The cover has a 14 year old girl looking in the mirror at a thinner version of herself. The description of the book is:
“…a 14 year old girl who goes on a diet and is transformed from being extremely overweight and insecure to a normal sized girl who becomes the school soccer star. Through time, exercise and hard work, Maggie becomes more and more confident and develops a positive self image.”
Many health professionals, including the Eating Disorders Coalition, have come out against this book. Why? Dieting should not be encouraged in children as it is the most common behavior that leads to an eating disorder. And because children are still growing, cutting calories and fat without health professional guidance can be hazardous.
Dieting is already very common with children with almost half of 9-11 year olds are “sometimes” or “very often” on diets while over 80% of their family members are “sometimes” or “very often” on diets (see my eating disorder prevention series for more details).
I want to avoid judging this book before reading it but it’s obvious the author did not do his research. While I know everyone wants to help children be healthier, I believe it’s important to consult experts before charging ahead with such a big endeavor.
I think this book, and the controversy surrounding it, brings up a not-talked-about-enough point. There is a huge, blurry line between healthy eating behaviors and dieting. People will tell me they are eating healthy but when I look further I see that they are really dieting — restricting their favorite foods, cutting calories drastically and obsessively consulting the scale.
It sounds to me like the author’s intention is to focus on healthy eating behaviors but the title and cover is the typical weight loss/diet focus. The book’s description eludes to the myth that weight loss is the path to self esteem. After working with weight loss surgery clients for 3 years, I can tell you that people are very, very surprised when weight loss does not bring them happiness.
So this book is a great conversation starter. Children need to learn that eating well and physical activity (not dieting) are important for quality of life and health purposes but happiness comes from a different place. Maybe a better book would show children the difference between healthy eating behaviors and dieting?