Okay, I lied. I decided to post one more meal plan before the big move which is being delayed a bit.
That beautiful picture is a pumpkin I carved all by myself. Thanks to a stencil kit and my helpful mother-in-law, it wasn’t that hard (I’m not very good at this stuff). We had the pumpkin with dinner last night and it was so tasty.
This week I’m trying a couple of new recipes. My friend Dan sent me a recipe for roasted cauliflower and pasta and the breaded fish dish is another attempt at including another fish besides salmon. I’m working Thursdays now so I will make that slow cook day. I plan to freeze some of the leftovers from the spaghetti for our move week.
For more meal plans see Org Junkie.
What’s Cooking This Week?
Monday: Chicken and Bean Quesadillas with salsa and guacamole
Tuesday: Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower, bread and fruit salad
Wednesday: Baked breaded white fish, roasted butternut squash, bread and salad
Thursday: Slow cooker spaghetti, green beans with parmesan and bread
Challenges — pushing limits
My daughter just turned four and has been testing limits at home in everything from what she wears to what she eats. She is trying to get a rise out of me — and sometimes she succeeds.
She used to like peanut butter and now she doesn’t. She used to eat my fruit and veggie muffins and now she doesn’t. She makes a point to shun the fruit I put out at breakfast (but still eats it for a snack and with lunch). She used to eat broccoli and now can’t stand the smell and calls it “gross.”
I admit to letting this get to me. I try not to let it show but kids have a sixth sense about these things. It seems the more I want her to eat something, the less interested she is.
Times like this make following the division of responsibility extremely difficult. But the truth is I can’t make her eat anything. And the more I make it an issue, the longer the stage will last.
I totally understand the temptation parents face to give in and only give kids the items you know they’ll eat. But I think this is more for the parent’s benefit than the child’s. You see, my daughter doesn’t have a problem with the food I provide her. I’m the one having a problem with what she’s choosing to eat, which given her young age and previous history is VERY likely to change.
If I chase her “food preferences of the month” then she will learn that mommy only serves what she likes. So I stay in the middle — provide her with the foods she likes while giving her the opportunity to eat other foods.
I guess what I’m trying to say is I’m not immune to feeling insecure and doubtful of myself when it comes to feeding my kids. But I really do try to focus on what counts the most — providing my child with a variety of nutritious and good tasting foods in a pleasant environment. Forcing, pressuring, and manipulating will only backfire, which is the perfect segue to our next topic…
News — smarter lunchrooms
A couple of weeks ago the USDA announced it will be funding the Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Program. The co-directors, Brian Wansink and David Just, will work to find easy, low-cost solutions for making school lunchrooms smarter by using theories of behavioral economics.
Their research shows that simply re-arranging where food is placed in a cafeteria has significant results. One school in upstate New York increased the consumption of salads by almost 300% by moving the salad bar near the check-out line. Another school increased fruit sales by 105% by making apples and oranges more visible by putting them in attractive baskets in a well-lit area. For more on these amazing case studies see Smarter Lunchrooms http://smarterlunchrooms.org/case_studies.html
I believe this approach is much better than banning foods and mandates for serving “healthy” options which naturally makes kids want to rebel. As I talked about in my 15 Surefire Ways to Get Kids Eat Healthy where I interviewed Wansink, we can do these same type of things in our home by making healthier options more accessible and attractive.
Wansink sums it up nicely by saying…
Food isn’t nutritious until it is eaten. We don’t improve school lunches by making children take healthier items. When forced upon them, children will resist and dislike not only the heavy-handed approach, but the food associated with that heavy hand. We improve school lunches by nudging children to make the right choices on their own. That way, when they take the apple instead of the cookie, it was their idea.
This gets to the idea that I often stress on this blog: how we feed kids is just as important as what we feed them. None of the proposed solutions involve new recipes, expensive equipment, or major revamps. It’s simply changing how food is offered.
So what do you think? Do you agree with these changes? Anyone from school nutrition have any thoughts?
Want to create your own dinner rotation? Get step-by-step help in Maryann’s book The Family Dinner Solution.