I started off the weekend at our neighborhood’s Farmers’ Market. This is part of my new weekly meal plan strategy — make up my meal plan on Friday, go to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday and shop for the rest of the items on Sunday.
It’s funny how I always kick myself for not going and then I finally go and have such a good time. Big A got a free toy because she found the stuffed penguin and Little D is just happy to be in the stroller. We got plenty of tasters for snack time and I also found a gift for my mother in law’s birthday. Score.
This week I’m trying this awesome looking burrito from Simple Bites and a Stuffed spinach and cheese pizza from the No Whine with Dinner Cookbook. And I’ll be making pizza dough for the first time thanks to some readers encouragement.
For more meal planning ideas go to Org Junkie.
What’s Cooking this Week
Monday: Black Bean Burritos
Tuesday: Tomato Cheesy Pasta with Shrimp, fruit salad and roasted veggies
Wednesday: Black Bean Burritos (Will try to make it with dried beans), bread and salad
Friday: Stuffed spinach and cheese pizza (No Whine with Dinner), salad and fruit
Salad of the week: Apple Walnut Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette
cold veggie/dip of the week: Carrots/humus
Sandwich of the week: Tuna
Snack of the week: Butternut squash muffins
Instead of talking about my challenges this week, I wanted to summarize your key challenges based on comments from our end of the year giveaway:
Picky Eating/Trying New Foods: Picky eating was the most common challenge mentioned. In particular, it is getting kids to try foods like vegetables. If you haven’t already, check out my first post in my picky eating series, which explains why picky-eating is normal (and when it’s not) and offers lots of tips from experts.
Believe me when I say I understand the frustration involved with feeding erratic-eating little people. But I have found the frustration usually comes from trying to control kids’ eating. I will have plenty of postings on this topic in the future.
Making Meals Everyone Likes: I feel your stress about trying to get healthy meals on the table that everyone likes. There’s also are quite of few of you dealing with food allergies and kids with special needs that complicate things even more.
I plan to highlight helpful strategies in my posts, including the simple recipes/meal plans, to help you with this one. But I think part of the problem is the unrealistic expectation that everyone will like every meal. Instead, I try to find meals that work well for my family and make everyone happy overall (not at every meal).
Problems with Planning: While everyone knows the importance of meal planning, it’s still not happening for some of you. One reader said, “I am so aware of the tips and tricks of pre-organizing meals and different hints, I don’t think I can read another article about it without feeling like I already know what they are saying. The challenge is to actually put the plans in motion and find a suggestion that actually fits in our lifestyle.”
Last year, I kicked off posts about how to meal plan, talking about the barriers families face. I think it’s important to discover your barriers and develop strategies to overcome them. And as the reader said, making it fit your lifestyle is key. Much more on this subject in 2011.
Dad doesn’t eat healthy: I was surprised how many of you said that fathers are often picky and don’t set a good example. You might want to check out my guest post at Simple Marriage, about helping loved ones make healthier choices. I plan to get an expert to post on this topic as well.
No offense to you dads who are regular readers. It’s not all dads just some (and I’m sure some moms too).
Food Outside the Home: While picky eating was common for younger children, outside influences were issues for parents of older children. We know the environment in which we live isn’t always health conscious but it pays to help children navigate our food-focused world.
Expect more strategies and tips on this topic as well as a series on how to positively influence children and their food choices.
Parents’ health and eating: There are some of you challenged when it comes to taking care of your own health. Some of you said you do well feeding your children, but not yourself. Others of you fear your not-so-good eating habits will rub off on your children.
I have an ongoing midlife nutrition and health series to help parents. I’ll also be writing about this topic in ways that hopefully inspire you to make changes that benefit you and your health. But you have to do it for you– and not for your kids, spouse, or anyone else.
I will also take some of your challenges and turn them into Ask the Dietitian posts. I hope to address all of your challenges in 2011. It’s going to be a good year for Raise healthy Eaters.
Thanks for reading!
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.