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.
Tuesday: Spinach ricotta stuffed shells with bread, salad, and fruit. This is a new recipe that I got from fellow RD, Estela, at Weekly Bite. I will let you know how it turns out.
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.
Deb Pederson says
Thanks for this! I’m struggling getting into meal planning. I haven’t yet been organized enough or *forced* the issue enough with the family to get going on it. I mentioned it and DH thought it would be a good idea, but no help from him on it yet. The kids (5 & 2) will follow our lead on this, I’m sure. I really want it to be the whole family participating in the planning, not just me dictating what we eat.
So your request for a fish recipe we LOVE: Parmesan Crusted Tilapia from Rachael Ray – super simple and tastes like it came from a gourmet restaurant: http://www.rachaelraymag.com/Recipes/rachael-ray-magazine-recipes/take-five-ingredients-recipes/Parmesan-Crusted-Tilapia.
The whole family LOVES it!
Thanks again for all you do! I often pass your articles on to the MOMS Club I am in.
Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD says
Thanks Deb! I’ll try the recipe and will let you know how we like it.
I don’t know what I would do without meal planning. I know some can wing it and come up with great meals on the fly. That never works for me.
we have a night where everyone fends for their selves at least once a week here with teens it is good for them
This all sounds yummy. Here is a great fish recipe – it calls for cod, but we used salmon and it was delish. I also subbed lemon juice for half the oil.
Emily/Miss Mommy says
Hey- love the look of your blog and the ideas. I also have a 3 year old and a 1 year old, tho they are getting closer to 2 and 4. It’s my littler one we struggle with more, but we do want them to both be good eaters. Our philosophy has always been for them to eat what we eat and that chicken nuggets/fries were not an option everywhere we go- we do a lot of ethnic food and we travel a lot, so we want our kids to embrace it all. Now we live in Scotland, so we get to try more foods. Anyway, I will definitely bookmark your blog and keep checking back.
Unless you quit looking like the girl in the pic or if your kitchen gets spotty- then we’re done. 😉
Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD says
Thanks for finding us. Your blog looks great too!
This is one of our favorites from cooking light…
Recipe By :
Serving Size : 4 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Fish
Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons pecans — finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 6 ounce tilapia or snapper fillets
1 tablespoon vegetable oil — divided
4 lemon wedges
1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a shallow dish. Combine buttermilk and hot sauce in a medium bowl; place flour in a shallow dish. Dredge 1 fillet in flour. Dip in buttermilk mixture; dredge in breadcrumb mixture. Repeat poocedure with remaining fillets, flour, buttermilk mixture and breadcrumb mixture.
2. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 fillets; cook 3 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Repeat procedure with remaining oil and fillets. Serve with lemon wedges.
Yield: 4 servings of one fillet each
Ratings : Very Good Keeper 2
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 312 Calories; 9g Fat (26.7% calories from fat); 39g Protein; 17g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 64mg Cholesterol; 407mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 5 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 1 1/2 Fat.
Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD says
Thanks for all the great fish ideas. Will put tilapia on next week’s meal plan…
I was a super-picky eater (with some sensory issues) when I was growing up. By the time I was in middle school/ high school I had outgrown most of my pickiness. My suggestion on vegetables is to let your daughter try them raw. Sometimes the texture of cooked veggies is just way too much of a sensory overload.
I found you from orgjunkie and have really enjoyed looking around this week. I started my 6 month old on solids this week and it has re-inspired me to focus on healthy eating for my “big” kids (2 & 4) too. Thank you especially for the meal planning article. I served beans and fish twice this week! 🙂
Thanks so much for posting your meal plan! Although, I usually try to have a meal plan, I’m struggling with getting in enough “nutritious” foods such as beans and fish. Your meal plan gave me the idea to have black bean and rice tacos this week, which were delicious, something I wouldn’t have even thought to do! (I have celiac, so flour tortillas for burritos are out!) I was also wondering what you typically do for lunches? Do you try to get more beans and fish in at lunch too, or stick with other proteins or salads?
I struggle to come up with new recipes for fish, but womething we love to do with any kind of fish at my house is fish tacos. We often use salmon or mahi mahi, (tilipia works too, but it’s not quite as firm) and then cook it on our grill pan with lime and seasonings and then serve with avocado and cabbage and salsa over corn tortillas. Shrimp also works really well too! I use alton brown broiled shrimp recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/the-shrimp-cocktail-recipe/index.html, but serve warm in tortillas with whatever toppings you like!
Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD says
Thanks for the recipe! Please don’t worry about getting nutrition perfect right away (or ever). Just slowly add different dishes and after a while it will be easier to get the variety. I still only serve fish once a week but will be trying some new recipes. We tend to do sandwiches or leftovers for lunch. Sandwiches might be tuna, turkey, egg, cheese & avocado or PBJ. I’m trying to increase the variety at lunches too. We do a lot of beans here including burritos, hummus, lentils and slow-cooker meals (with beans). I plan to “beef” up the recipe selection here so hopefully that will give you some ideas.
Most important thing is to enjoy your meals. Have a great weekend!!
I’m loving that you are posting your meal plans since I’ve gotten several great new recipe ideas from them! I tried Deb’s suggestion of the parm. encrusted tilipia last night and it was delicious and easy! To make it even easier, I premixed the spices on sunday and pre-grated the parm. I only have smoked paprika, so I used that and really liked it. I served with red quinoa and roasted brussel sprouts and it was a hit!!
Hi, I stumbled across your website after searching about boredom eating and kids and I’m so glad I did! I love what you have posted and I’m still sifting through everything, but I’m trying to get my almost 4 foot tall 4 year old on a better diet, as I was told by a not-so-nice doctor today that if I don’t watch it she will never have a chance at a normal adult life! She is taller than other kids her age but no other doctor has ever been concerned w/ her weight, and she hasn’t increased in the past 6 months, but I want to make sure we keep avoiding that increase. (I live in a small town where doctors think they’re Gods) but nonetheless, I do want to better our eating habits as a family as well and look forward to reading your posts. Thanks so much!!
Thanks Megan. You have to be careful with doctors. They are good at what they do but don’t always realize the power of their words. How could he know that your child wouldn’t have a normal life?? I’m glad you’re here. Welcome!
My picky 2 yr old will eat Fish Chowder readily. Probably b/c it has two of his favorite foods, corn and potatoes, in it. I use the Crockpot Lady’s recipe (http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/02/crockpot-fish-chowder-recipe.html). I always use tilapia in this recipe and often just increase the amount of fish a little and don’t use the shrimp (can’t afford shrimp on my grocery budget.) Also, I substitute some of the cream from the top of a coconut milk can for the heavy cream. Even though it’s not low fat, at least the coconut cream is a little better for you in terms of nutrients. Then I use the remainder of the coconut milk for thai red curry or use it in place of milk in pancakes or muffins.