Another week, another meal plan. I’m trying a slow cooker spaghetti and meatball dish inspired by a patient I saw awhile ago (a great Italian cook). I’m also making Black Bean sliders with sweet potatoes from Fearless Feeding, recently posted on the Meal Makeover Moms blog.
Like always, see Org Junkie for more meal planning inspiration.
Monday: Chicken Enchiladas with Black Beans and Spanish Rice
Tuesday: Slow Cooker Spaghetti with Meatballs with Roasted Cauliflower and Fruit
Wednesday: Kids’ Choice
Thursday: Black Bean Sliders with Baked Fries and Salad
Friday: Make your own pita pizzas with toppings to choose from
More from Cooking Light…
Superfast Mediterranean Recipes
The no-pressure lunch
In the spirit of my latest post about avoiding food battles, I thought I’d share where we’ve ended up with Big A’s lunch. As I talked about in another weekly meal plan post, in the beginning of the school year, her lunches were coming back barely touched. When I saw this as a regular occurrence, I brought it up with her in the hopes of finding the cause.
But it got to the point where she would come home and automatically start explaining why she didn’t eat that much lunch. I realized that this had become an issue and she felt pressured to eat even though I didn’t see myself as pressuring her.
So I told her that I would no longer look at her lunch at the end of the day.
Big A: “You won’t look at my lunch leftovers?”
Me: No! I will just toss it with my eyes closed. See (I act it out for her).
Big A: You really will not look at my lunch?
Me: I promise. It’s up to you to get enough to eat. You don’t need to explain anything to me about how much you eat.
Big A: Okay. Thanks mom.
Much time has passed and I really didn’t look at her lunches for a while but now I do. But I don’t say a word about them. She is at the point now where most days her lunch is more than half gone. There is the occasional barely touched meal and sometimes it’s completely empty but I never say a word about it.
If feeding isn’t going well for you, consider whether or not your child is feeling pressured. Children tend to eat better without it.
Raise Healthy Eaters Feedback
It was a year after I started this blog when the book became a central focus for me. And while I will continue to promote Fearless Feeding and work on projects related to it, I also want to focus more time here at Raise Healthy Eaters. I want to spend more time in the kitchen coming up with simple and healthy recipes. I want to develop additional resources to help parents. And while I have some ideas, of course, I want my readers input.
What type of resources would you like to see? What area of struggle continues to haunt you? Feel free to leave a comment or contact me directly.
In my WebMD post last week I talk about the latest studies on eggs and heart disease and why I keep eating them.
Katja Rowell has some great advice in this Huffington post article about offering food to children.
This LA Times article discusses the weighty issue of weighing kids at school, which I think is an awful idea.
I really appreciated this honest post form Lisa Leake on 100 Days of Real Food where she makes the realization that she doesn’t want her girls to worry about food.
Here’s a list of some awesome RD bloggers who participated in a blogger carnival to review and giveaway Fearless Feeding:
Sally at Real Mom Nutrition (still going on until Wednesday)
Liz and Janice at Meal Makeover Moms (still going on until Wednesday)
Katie at Moms Kitchen Handbook
Let me know how you are doing in the comments!
Maryann, the slow cooker spaghetti and meatball dish sounds delicious.
I really like your idea of planning meals for the week. I think it allows for an easier week. With this I have less take out and more advanced prep.
I agree with you about the less pressure and avoiding food battles. It seems like food can be a constant battle for some people.
If we listen more to our bodies about when we are hungry and when we are full then there would be better relationships with food.
We need to go back to listening to our bodies and not on what others think we should be doing.
Thank you for your insights and I am very interested in that slow cooker spaghetti recipe.
Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD says
Thanks Elle. I’ll post the recipe for the slow cooker spaghetti and meatballs sometime soon!
I am also curious about the slow cooker spaghetti recipe, mostly wondering whether it allows you to have the pasta ready if you all walk in the door starving at 6 PM, as we do!
I am reading your book now so it may answer these questions, but here are two areas I would love to have you address:
(1) Since we are teaching kids to listen to their bodies, why not allow (nutritious) between-meal eating when they say they are hungry? I have a really hard time saying no to this, because simply handing out a snack so easily avoids a meltdown.
(2) Applying the Division of Responsibilities when eating out– do you choose what to order for your child? And in general I suppose I struggle with this; I choose what is for dinner (other than asking for suggestions or input sometimes) but often give options for breakfast and lunch. I try to make it a joint effort though, and a teaching tool — discussing with my son what he ate earlier or is going to eat later and how we can make sure he gets a variety.
Thanks, loving the book!
Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD says
Moremadder — In the book we discuss fruit as a food that is always allowed (in the school-age chapter). That way if children are just saying their hungry to get a snack, they probably won’t want the fruit. You can also move snack time up if it seems the kids are hungrier than usual. The key is to be flexible and not rigid.
As for dining out, it depends on how often it is. I give my kids two choices after looking at the menu. I usually decide the side that comes with it. I believe Ellyn Satter has some rules in her books about giving guidelines to the child since they are taking over the parents job like only one fried food or sweet and something that contains 3 or more food groups (protein/grain/fruit or veggie).
Make sense? Glad you are enjoying the book!