This weekly meal plan is a tad late (posted Monday but you will probably see it Tuesday). We ended up eating leftovers at home tonight because the final touches were being done to our kitchen. We’re still limited as the oven won’t be in for a couple more days. I’m using the slow cooker twice this week and plan to use the oven by Friday. (Please, please, please let it be done!)
As always, for more meal plans see Org Junkie.
What’s Cooking this Week?
Monday: Leftovers from dinner out Sunday
Tuesday: Ravioli with spinach and sundried tomatoes, bread and salad
Wednesday: Slow cooker carnitas with tortillas, beans, cheese, and all the toppings
Thursday: Black Bean soup with a salad with leftovers from Wed
Friday: Marinated salmon with macaroni and cheese and parmesan green beans
Salad of the week — Mixed baby greens, pears, walnuts and cranberries
Challenges: want to make feeding a priority but can’t
I feel like this kitchen re-do has turned our eating upside down. I had a couple of days last week I didn’t get my lunch until 2 pm while feeding my kids fast in order to get them to their nap (naps are MUSTS in our house). And because the kitchen was inaccessible, I ended up picking at snacks, instead of eating a satisfying meal.
Throughout the years I have talked to people about managing their eating and they always tell me they don’t have time to plan meals. They are hurried at breakfast time, grab something super easy for lunch (late) and then eat out for dinner because they are too tired and hungry to cook. After dinner, they still pick at food well into the night (when the body finally gets a decent meal — it will want to keep eating).
I always ask them if they believe that feeding themselves is a priority — and they say “yes,” but then hesitate.
This is really the problem. Whether people learned this from their parents, society, or simply don’t believe they deserve to be fed well, the belief that proceeds this action is “feeding myself is not a priority.”
So it’s really the belief that’s the problem, not the time, lack of easy recipes, or other things I hear from people. I tell them to challenge this belief every time they are tempted to run out of the house without eating breakfast or are unwilling to stop for lunch when immersed in work or other activities.
I fall into this trap too. Sometimes I’ll put planning meals off until the last minute and that’s when I do a shoddy job. I pay for it all week as I have to run back to the grocery store or scratch a meal because of a missing a key ingredient like pasta for spaghetti.
I guess this is my long and rambling way of saying that I am recommitted to make feeding myself and my family a priority.
News — The Claim: “Parents may not have that much influence over their kids eating”
When I saw this as a news headline I had to read it. So I searched for the review study the story was based on and found the title to be “Do children and their parents eat a similar diet? Resemblance in child and parental dietary intake: systematic review and meta-analysis”
I wasn’t able to read the study but by looking at the abstract I can see the studies (24, small samples by the way) examined what kids were eating compared to their parents. And surprise, surprise, it was different.
Now what I’m not sure about was whether or not they included the feeding styles of the parents. Did they cater to their kids with separate meals or not? Did they follow the division of responsibility or were they controlling or too casual in their feeding? How old were the children (I know, reading the study would help).
Not only do these things matter, but there’s a truth I’m going to speak that is not very PC. Kids that will grow up to be healthy and happy eaters don’t have to eat just like their parents when they are kids. I mean, we don’t expect them to read, problem solve and enjoy coffee like us.
I talk about the three different kinds of eaters there are in this post to let parents know that kids learn to like a variety of foods at different paces. And I think more parents need to know this.
Unfortunately, parents, already stressed with the tough job of feeding may use this story as a reason to give up on their kids’ eating habits.
I understand what the study and article are saying, there are many outside influences on kids’ eating. I get it. But I stand by this when I say that parents are the biggest influence on their kids eating. Period.
What do you think about all this?
Want to create your own dinner rotation? Get step-by-step help in Maryann’s book The Family Dinner Solution.
I completely agree with you. And just because a child isn’t eating the same exact thing as a parent doesn’t mean the parent hasn’t been the influence to that. Kids eat what we provide for and expose them to. While my son may not eat asparagus like I do, he may in the future. It will be offered and available. He will have the choice to try it or refuse it.
Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD says
Yes! How many of us ate tons of veggies as kids. They will get it in time.
I agree with you that parents are the biggest influence. I have three boys ages 1 to 8 yrs of age and I encourage them, mainly my 4 & 8 yr old to at least try new foods, if they don’t like it’s okay. My one yr old so far eats everything I feed him. I try to expose my kids to a variety of foods, just because I love peppers doesn’t mean they have to like peppers too. I just offer a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables at lunch and dinner for them to choose. So far so good.
But my four year old is my picky eater, it took him about 3o times to be exposed to broccoli before he would even eat try it. I was surprised to hear his preschool teacher say that he ate a tiny bite of his broccoli during afternoon snack. The influences of his peers definately helped but I trid not to make a big deal about it. I know it’s not easy feeding kids but you are right, parents are a big influence!
Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD says
Lisa — you make the point how different kids all are — and that they try new foods at their own pace. You gotta love those one year olds that will eat anything.
Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD says
Goodfountain — I think about that a lot — how I ate as a kid. Because I was the youngest of 5, my remembers nothing about me! But I remember loving fruit and sweets and not liking food much. My mom used to make these stews and I’d take little bites but never eat much (they grossed me out). Luckily my mom never forced me to eat anything.
I think my daughter takes after me with her eating. So I’d be happy if she eats like me when she’s older!
Good luck with your kitchen. We did a remodel in our old house (pre-kids) – that was hard enough on us – can’t imagine doing it now!!
Well you already know that my kids don’t eat the same meals as we do, but I do believe that we are still raising them to be healthy eaters and that we are the biggest influence. I think it’s the VALUES that are translated to them. WE eat healthy and we prepare healthy meals for them – and they know that we value that. It’s not like we’re fixing them Spaghetti-Os and hot dogs while we eat lentils and marinara. And vice versa we’re not expecting them to eat fruit and veggie servings every day when we don’t. We eat a healthy diet that we like, and they eat the healthy diet of foods they like. We always offer them new stuff and encourage them to try, but I don’t stress about it.
(I worry more about things like overeating sweets. But I’m trying to let that go.)
My mom and I made stuffed mushrooms this weekend and we both commented how neither of us ever touched a mushroom till we were adults. I offered my daughters each a mushroom and they turned up their nose immediately. I’m not worried though. I have no doubt they’ll enjoy them some day. (They were so good too – vegan even!!)