I hope you are all doing well. We are starting this week with fish tacos, a meal I just recently mastered. I have tried and failed many times at this dish. Last time I made it my husband said. “These are really good.” The secret for me is to bread and bake the fish instead of pan fry. I don’t know why but I always seem to mess up pan-frying.
Next on the master list? Greek salad. I don’t know about you but I get in salad ruts. What’s on your menu this week?
Like always, visit Org Junkie for more meal planning inspiration.
What’s Cooking This Week
Monday: Baked fish tacos with a side of black beans
Tuesday: Chicken and pasta with roasted veggies and a Greek Salad
Wednesday: Kids’ choice
Thursday: Slow cooker lentil soup with ham and a side of fruit and cheesy bread
Friday: Make your own pita pizzas with various toppings and a green salad
More from Cooking Light…
Monthly Meal Planning?
It’s the beginning of February and I’m trying something new. I’m planning dinner meals a month at a time. I’m basically setting up a rotation of meals. What I have listed above is what I have planned for this week but I also have placeholder dinner meals planned for the whole month. Each week I will check those meals and make adjustments.
The reason for this is threefold. First, if I can look at the whole month I can double-check variety and make sure I’m rotating different items. I find that I tend to make certain meals over and over again without repeating others enough. Kids need lots of exposure so I’m trying to capitalize on that (and Big A is really expanding her tastes at the moment. Little D not so much). Also, some weekends are really busy and I end up doing a poor job meal planning. This way, I already have a head start.
And third, I can shop for items ahead of time, especially nonperishable ones in one big monthly shopping trip. I have been trying to keep my kitchen stocked with items I use frequently but I like the idea of doing as much of it as I can at the beginning of the month.
Oh, and I forgot the fourth thing. I can look at which meals I want to double for lunches or freeze for future meals.
How is your meal planning going? Any challenges that keep coming up?
Sometimes the choice to buy organic weighs on people, especially when budgets are tight. I recently went through the pros and cons of buying organic milk in this WebMD post. Another parent does the same thing with organic produce in this article in Slate.
February is a time when goals for the New Year’s can lose their luster. In this post, I discuss how to keep the motivation going by asking 3 important questions.
In this Bundoo article, Jill Castle does a good job of explaining why, in some cases, spoon-feeding increases the risk babies will be over-fed. As she says it’s not always the spoon but the person behind the spoon.
Kia Robertson reviews Fearless Feeding on Today I Ate a Rainbow.
This NPR article goes into the perks of serving meals family-style.
An insightful post from Katja Rowell at the HAES site: Health, Not Weight Focus. What a Relief! In this article, she discusses how restricting children can result in food obsession and problems with weight.
Well, that’s it for now. Have a great week!
I agree with you about kids needing a lot of ‘exposure’ but I am struggling with this with my nearly-four-year-old. We only get the chance to eat family meals at the weekend; during the week, it’s just her, sometimes me and her eating. It seems disrespectful (and wasteful!) to keep trying dishes on her that she says she hates but how do I get out of the pasta rut?! Any advice?
I try serving new/less popular items along with things I know she likes but she just eats the stuff she knows and likes.
Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD says
I’m not sure how long you’v been reading my blog but I can steer you to some articles that might help. First off, you are in the most resistant phase of eating. To give you some ideas on why your son is like that you can check out my picky eating series, especially these two posts: http://www.maryannjacobsen.com/2010/06/things-picky-eaters-wish-their-parents-knew/
Understanding helps you know this won’t last together. I really encourage you to set up family meals during the week when you can. Kids learn to eat by watching and this way you won’t feel the food is wasteful. You can eat with your son and then save a hot plate for whoever is late. Try serving meals family style and having him serve himself with help from you. If he doesn’t want to take the food, make a separate learning plate and encourage him to touch or even kiss the food. And lastly, give him some jobs in the kitchen so he gets more exposure to food instead of seeing it the first time on his plate. Another post about exposure http://www.maryannjacobsen.com/2013/11/the-10-golden-rules-for-exposing-kids-to-food-part-5/
And lastly, make sure you’re not pressuring your child which is known to backfire http://www.maryannjacobsen.com/2013/09/what-children-secretly-wish-their-parents-would-stop-doing-at-mealtime-part-3/
Let me know if you have any questions. I have a 4 and 7 year old and my 4 year old is pretty resistant but my 7 year old is really expanding her tastes. Fear of new food peaks between 2 and 6 years of age so hang in there!
Thank you Maryann, the ‘most overlooked reasons’ post was particularly helpful. I could have written the email as I too feel we have been so ‘textbook’ in our approach.
I think I could, however, reorganise our meals from time to time so I’m eating with my daugher some nights and with my husband on others. I know I just have to sit this phase out – I just don’t want to make any more mistakes in the meantime. One thing that gives me cheer is I know that my daughter enjoys mealtimes and she gets a lot of pleasure from food. Serving food family-style certainly helps and perhaps I could reformat some of my mainstay dishes to serve them in that style. Thanks for the advice!