I was asked recently what do we eat in a week?
It’s actually a tough question to answer because that seriously changes relating to how much time I have and what else is going on. Before I started back at work, I had OODLES of time to shop, plan and prepare lovely, creative and fresh food. Now that work is ramping up again, I am finding I don’t have that time, energy and mental capacity to put into food. So often I am falling back on quick favourites. Which is fine. But it’s not as exciting as one might think.
And for the kids…well…their eating changes on a daily basis. But let me say, we are not 100% healthy as this blog may suggest. I put our good ideas up here but our not-so-good ideas? They are not blog worthy but it doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
One of the things I have come to realise is that balance is everything. We try to teach our kids about healthy eating and model it also. It does work. My 5 year old asks for salads and he eats raw broccoli yadadyayada. But he also arks up some days because he doesn’t want salad. He won’t eat it in his lunch box at school and has given up on carrot entirely now. And after declaring himself a vegetarian he asked for a ham sandwich at the shops. He’s too young to know what’s up and down sometimes so we roll with it.
What I have learnt is that in striking balance, one of the keys to a peaceful house is not to be stressed about it. Sometimes we are super healthy and other times not. Sometimes my 3yo refuses to eat anything of an evening but chips. Other days he’ll eat soup and cucumber and good stuff.
In a day, it’s not going to make any difference. Over a week, or a month, balance is what his body needs. So I have given up worrying about any particular meal. Some days, if chips is it, well at least he has food in his stomach and we ate a peaceful meal together without any nagging. THAT is of benefit too.
Other days, I thank my lucky stars for the nutrition that does enter their little bodies.
Having said all that – here’s a round -a -bout meal plan for a week if you are looking for ideas.
Pumpkin soup with hot chips.
Stir fry veg with rice or pad see eew (Thai noodles, oops have just realised this also isn’t blogged yet!)
Curry with rice (and wraps so the kids can wrap up their rice and curry as they like to do)
Mexican – tacos/bean bowls/nachos using the Frijole Refritos and salad and guacamole (or, 2 nights ago we had this but used baked sweet potatoes as a base rather than tacos or wraps. We baked sweet potato chips for the kids and they used those to dip into the sauce and guacamole). The chickpea wraps are a favourite for Dave and I.
Indian baked veggies is a hit. My 5 yo especially likes baked cauliflower for some reason.
Tomato soup with bread rolls for the kids to dip.
Cobb salad where they can pick out their favourites.
Often we will serve a salad (which Dave and I will eat) and have homemade pasties on the side because the kids WILL eat the pasties and are learning about salad. Which is fine. We can serve it all up while they are learning and if they learn in little bits, I’m totally fine with that.
We have seen such a shift in my 5 yo this year that I am confident they will be established veggie eaters as they get older. But with young kids?
Don’t stress. Do what works and encourage and model what you can.
As Sid Garza Hilman says, you can’t change everything over night so if all you do is eat a piece of celery in a day that you didn’t eat yesterday, well celebrate that. It’s the beginning of something.