I can’t believe summer is almost over. I’m sorry the weekly meal 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
Friday: Make Your Own Mini pizzas with salad/fruit
Salad of the week: Cranberry Spinach Salad
The Summer News
Researchers at Penn State found that by pureeing veggies into preschoolers’ food, kids got twice as many vegetables and consumed 11% 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.
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 are 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) is 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?
Want to create your way to meal plan in a way that works for you? Get step-by-step help in Maryann’s book The Family Dinner Solution.
I think the book is very misguieded. I’m all for books that teach children to eat healthier, but the fact that the girl goes on a diet and then becomes the soccer star sends the wrong message. Being healthy should have nothing to do with being accepted. The other comments I’ve seen in regards to this book (and I have to agree) is that kids don’t feed themselves. Parents are the one’s who buy the food, give in to their children’s tantrums, and are ultimatly responsible for what their children eat. I’m guilty of this, as are a lot of parents. However, I think an appropriate book geared towards children might help children to encourage their parents to make healthier choices :).
Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD says
Thanks for your comment Shuree. Without reading the book it’s hard to tell but it doesn’t seem to have a family focus which is needed! Most weight management programs for kids involve the whole family.
I think I would prefer a book that is targeted to that age to be about physical activity. “Experts” always talk about how we’re raising a couch potato generation (actually I think that started with my generation) and I’m sure the obesity/overweightness of today’s kids is also due in part to video games / computer games along with the poor eating habits.
Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD says
You are right Goodfountain. Most the studies show that regular physical activity helps prevent wieght gain so it is it a big part of the problem.