So I’ve started rotating our dinner meals. And you know what my success rate has been the first two weeks following this rotation? 100%. Well, I did skip homemade pizza last Friday for last minute dinner plans, but besides that, it’s been right on. Before with the more traditional meal plan, my success rate was more like 70%.
I think part of the reason I didn’t always follow my meal plan (especially the end of the week when I was like “what was I thinking?!”) was because I dreaded the planning part so much that I didn’t do a thorough job. I think it has to do with decision fatigue — having to go through my huge batch of recipes on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. But with my 30 meal focus, I have a smaller, more thoughtful list to choose from.
Below is the rotation I’ve started. I’m already changing it though. For example, with spring upon us I’ll probably swap out the soup and chili for other meals like turkey burgers (or trying bison burgers that my friend told me about) and grilled shrimp.
Also, kids’ choice has moved from Tuesdays to Wednesdays. And Fridays are no meat because we celebrate Lent until Easter. How is your meal planning going?
I’m working on sides with the plan to make these ahead as much as possible and freeze what’s left for future dinners. Right now I’m focusing on mashed potatoes. Most the recipes call for heavy cream but that’s not my thing. I mean, I wouldn’t rule it out if the taste was great but do I really want to buy heavy cream for just one recipe? I’ve done that trying other recipes and it just sits in my fridge, going bad.
So I found this mashed potato recipe with olive oil and garlic. You don’t even have to add milk (which I didn’t because we were out). Slow cooking the garlic in oil and adding the water from cooking makes it nice and flavorful. I can work with this!
Now I could buy mashed potatoes already made and I’ve done that. But really, I could do that for all my food, going to Costco and load up on pre-made items to last me until summer. But not only do I want a say in the ingredients, I like finding the right taste point too. Plus, I don’t plan on needing 20 sides. Just a few really good options I can make ahead and freeze. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that too many choices stress me out.
Links, Posts & Latest Nutrition News
Check out my guest post over at La Petite Academy on toddler nutrition. I write about 5 things I think every parent should know about feeding!
This article highlights a recent study published in Eating Disorders, revealing that picky eating gets better at age 6. Researchers found that at 18 months, 26% of the children were reported as being picky, which stayed the same at age 3 (27%). But that number declined significantly at 6 years of age (13.2%). Nearly half of the children were picky eaters at some point in the first 6 years.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has a new policy report entitled: Snacks, Sweetened Beverages, Added Sugars and Schools. They are recommending a whole-food approach to feeding kids instead of eliminating certain ingredients like added sugars. Here’s what they recommend according to their press release:
- Select a mix of foods from the five food groups: vegetables, fruits, grains, low-fat dairy, and quality protein sources, including lean meats, fish, nuts, seeds and eggs).
- Offer a variety of food experiences.
- Avoid highly processed foods.
- Use small amounts of sugar, salt, fats and oils with highly nutritious foods to enhance enjoyment and consumption.
- Offer appropriate portions.
Corporations have been making some positive nutrition changes from Nestle removing artificial colors and flavors from its candy to McDonalds getting picky about their chicken. This shows that if enough people want something (and it shows up in spending patterns, of course), they will get it.
This article in the Washington Post touches on whether people are sensitive to gluten or the type of carbohydrate (called FODMAPS) wheat contains.
Katie Morford dishes on the new Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 from the Environmental Working Group.
March is National Nutrition Month and March 11 was Registered Dietitian (RD) Day. Lindsay over at the Lean Green Bean posts about all the amazing RD bloggers.
The tide is turning on food allergies as another study shows early introduction of nuts decreases risk of food allergy in high risk populations by more than 70%! While it all gets sorted out, food allergy experts are recommending the following (this comes directly from the New England Journal of Medicine):
“… we suggest that any infant between 4 months and 8 months of age believed to be at risk for peanut allergy should undergo skin-prick testing for peanut. If the test results are negative, the child should be started on a diet that includes 2 g of peanut protein three times a week for at least 3 years, and if the results are positive but show mild sensitivity (i.e., the wheal measures 4 mm or less), the child should undergo a food challenge in which peanut is administered and the child’s response observed by a physician who has experience performing a food challenge. Children who are nonreactive should then be started on the peanut-containing diet.”
If your family has food allergies, check out Jill Castle’s blog over at About.com. She’s the expert you need to be following!
I’ll leave you with this insightful post from Natalia Stasenko at Parents.com about why she doesn’t try to get her kids to eat vegetables.
Have a great weekend!