Every Monday Laura from Orgjunkie.com posts her weekly meal plan for her family and encourages other bloggers to do the same. Last week she linked to one of my meal planning articles and it brought some new subscribers to us (so welcome!)
So I thought I’d start a new tradition by listing out my family’s meal plan for the week. I may not do this every Monday but will do it as often as I can. I also thought it would be a good time to talk about the challenges everyone is having. (And in case you were wondering, I always look like the girl does in the picture and my kitchen is always spotless)
So I’ll share my challenges, and feel free to share yours. And maybe we can help each other.
What’s Cooking This Week
Nothing out of the ordinary is going on this week. I work Wednesday so it’s usually a long slow cooker day and Thursdays are leftovers or potluck (thanks to Sandy for her tip in our meal planning series). Monday is Mexican and Friday fish. Let’s take a look…
Monday: Black bean & rice burritos with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and guacamole.
Wednesday: Slow cooker White Chicken Chili from last week. Will top with cheddar cheese and serve carrots* and hummus (my daughter loves carrots).
Thursday: Will combine leftovers and do a potluck and probably roast some broccoli to go with everything. Last week we all chose a sandwich. My daughter had PB&J, my husband had egg and cheese, and my son and I had scrambled eggs and spinach. I put out some cantaloupe chunks.
Friday: Baked salmon with sweet potatoes and green beans.
Saturday: Eat out
Sunday: Dinner with extended family.
Nutrition and feeding challenges
In 5 Secrets to the Perfect Weekly Meal Plan, I provide tips on how to ensure balanced nutrition while meal planning. So I make a point to include beans twice a week. I also include at least one vitamin A-rich veggie and vitamin-C rich fruit (the starred items have vitamin A). On the days I don’t have a vitamin-A rich item for dinner I will offer one for lunch or snack. I serve vitamin C-rich fruits at breakfast (cantaloupe, orange, strawberries, or kiwi). I worry that my seldom-meat eating 3-year old doesn’t get much iron so vitamin C helps absorb the iron in her fortified cereal and raisins.
One of my biggest nutrition challenges is reaching my goal of having fish twice a week. We usually have salmon weekly and will sometimes make tuna sandwiches or shrimp, but that doesn’t always happen. We all take fish oils around here but I want to start making more fish. So if you have a good recipe, let me know. (I recently tried pan-frying some tilapia but it got all crumpled up). For more on the importance of fish see Kids & DHA: The Complete Guide for Parents.
Both of my kids (11 months and 3 years) eat meals with the family. My youngest will eat just about anything so I’m trying to take advantage of it. Studies suggest that the more flavors and textures you introduce early, the more variety kids will accept when they get older.
And my 3-year old is still cautious when it comes to trying new foods. I’ve been talking to her about this and encourage her to try more foods (without being overbearing or pressuring). She does much better at home — last week she took a few bites of a turkey sandwich and has been eating broccoli pretty regularly. But when we go to someone else’s house for dinner, or to restaurants, she is especially anxious.
I know a lot of parents incorporate the no-thank you bite but I don’t feel comfortable doing that. I encourage her, try to be supportive and leave it at that. I’d love to hear from someone with older kids comment on how their kids grew out of this phase (or not).
What are you having this week? Any feeding/meal/nutrition challenges you want to share??
I perfected family meal planning and show others how to do it in my book The Family Dinner Solution.