Toddler Meal Planning

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Planning lunches for the kids went so well last time I thought I would do it again.  This time I decided to just list the fruits and vegetables we have on hand and add them in each day based on how I am feeling instead of planning the sides in advance. I think I’ll write in the fruits and veggies as we eat the meals so I don’t give them applesauce three days in a row (I would like to say I would remember, but I won’t).

Now that I have the meals planned I need to get a grocery list together. I’ll probably do that tonight. But first, knitting.

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Lunch Planning Update

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Last week I shared that I was trying meal planning for lunches. I am happy to report that it was a success. I will be doing it again starting next week (we are out of town most of this week, so I didn’t bother).

I am surprised at what a difference planning lunches made. The kids only ate chicken nuggets once last week. I wasn’t stressed when I needed to get lunch on the table at noon and we walked in the door at 11:55. It was one less thing to think about.

I am a lunch planning convert. Now I just need to get better about meal planning dinners.

Lunch Planning

If you follow me on Instagram you have probably noticed that we are on the go a lot. The kids and I rarely spend a morning at home. We are usually out enjoying the city and head home in time for lunch.

I love being out of the house, but it is stressful getting back to the house with enough time to cook and serve a healthy meal. I’ve become one of those moms I swore I wouldn’t be – a freezer chicken nugget mom. My kids eat them often. Maybe four times a week.

My kids are in a picky eating phase. They have a few meals they will always eat: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chicken nuggets, fish sticks, mac and cheese….the usual carb heavy toddler fare. I’ve fallen into a bad habit of feeding them what they will eat, even though I know full well that they will eat anything if they are hungry enough, and it often takes introducing a food several times before they will accept it. It is so much easier to grab the food I know they will eat.

I need to change that. I want the kids to grow up excited to try new foods. I want them to have a healthy diet. So I’m putting down the chicken nuggets and picking up a plan.

I’ve been meal planning on and off for about a year. It took me a year to decide that meal planning doesn’t have to be for dinner (I know, I can hear you say duh from here). This week when I sat down to meal plan our dinners I also came up with a plan for the kids. I’ve included all of the kids favorites, but I’m introducing other healthy options too. I even plan on having Audrey help me put together the spaghetti bake.

I plan to prep the veggies and fruit the night before to make assembling the meal easier. I thought about prepping it all tonight, but I have the time to prep veggies daily.

Ideally I will stick to the meal plan all week. Realistically I’ll stick to the plan for three days. That is a start. I’m OK with easing into the plan.

Here is what we plan to eat for lunches this week:

Monday – Leftover chicken and noodles (adapted significantly from this), oranges

Tuesday – Leftover chicken and noodles, red pepper strips, oranges

Wednesday – Leftover spaghetti bake (from Tuesday dinner), cucumber, applesauce

Thursday – Chicken nuggets, cucumber, cinnamon bananas

Friday – Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, carrots, oranges.

Wish me luck. Do you meal plans? Do you have any advice? Do you have any suggestions for picky toddler approved healthy options?