Family-Friendly Meal Plan: Week #10

March is officially National Nutrition Month, so what better way to celebrate it than to feature some of my favorite registered dietitians in this month’s meal plans?

As a working-from-home dietitian, I no longer have the same workplace collaborations that I used to have when say, I was working at a children’s hospital. While I miss much of that organizational camaraderie, I am grateful to have found a community of online dietitians who I now know, respect, and adore.

One of these dietitians is Lindsay from The Lean Green Bean. Lindsay has been blogging for six years now and shares real, simple recipes that she and her family enjoy. I know you will enjoy checking Lindsay out in the coming week and learning from her! As a busy WAHM with two precious kids, she is always showing how to make healthy happen at home.

 

Veggies & Virtue Meal Plan: Week of March 4

 
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STEP 1: PLAN

Lindsay is queen of accomplishing delicious balanced meals in what seems like minimal effort. I’d say two of the ways I see her do this is through food prep and a realistic meal plan that requires little actual hands-on cooking time. With this, I love how many of Lindsay’s recipes utilize a slow-cooker and/or an Instant Pot (something I know I need more of and many of you have asked for!).

So for this week’s meal plan, we are going  to focus on meal ideas you can either prep in advance and have in the fridge for a busy week ahead. Or, you can get them ready in the morning and put in the slow cooker or Instant Pot for an easy win in the evening.


Interested in walking through the steps to meal plan like a pro?

Download your copy of my Meal Planning Playbook. It outlines the following five steps of successful meal planning in more detail so you can achieve "Less Meal Time Stress and More Feeding Success" for your own family!


 

STEP 2: PICK

A special thanks to Lindsay from The Lean Green Bean for the delicious recipe ideas this week!

Dinner Menu:

1 ǁ Family Dinner Sunday: Slow Cooker Rotisserie Chicken

2 ǁ Meatless Monday: Lasagna Soup

3 ǁ Taco Tuesday: Crockpot Cilantro Lime Chicken

4 ǁ Pasta Night: Spaghetti and Slow-Cooker Meatballs

5 ǁ Leftovers

6 ǁ Pizza Night: Did you know that pretty much every dietitian I know still eats pizza? Fun fact: Lindsay’s favorite type of pizza is chicken, green pepper and onion!

7 ǁ Soup/Stew Saturday: Slow-Cooker Sweet Potato Chicken Chili

 
 

STEP 3: PAIR

For all of my email subscribers (join here), you already have this week’s complete meal plan in your inbox. But for those of you who may not yet know about how I run through our weekly menu to account for apprehensive eaters (including my own!), you won’t want to miss the info I am sharing over on Lindsay’s blog next week.

With both Lindsay and I both being moms to kids four and under, we face the woes of children’s finicky food temperaments all the time. That’s why I am highlighting more about how the Love it, Like it, Learning it approach can work for families, especially those with children who often appear to refuse more foods than they accept at family dinners. You can read the whole post on "How To Help Picky Eaters Try New Foods" here (as of Monday, 3/5)!


Want to learn more about how "Love it, Like it, Learning it" works?
Grab your free guide here.


 

STEP 4: PURCHASE

What I Buy and Why: Instant Pot

A question I get from A LOT of you is whether or not I would recommend an Instant Pot. Since I am newly an owner of one since this past Christmas and not put mine to use nearly enough yet, I knew Lindsay would be the perfect person to ask!

As an avid Instant Pot user, Lindsay shared her thoughts with me here:

Bottom line: Yes, i think the Instant Pot is worth the money. I got mine almost a year and a half ago and still use it several times a week. I love that you can use it to make full meals, and also make food prep components like grains (rice, etc), beans, shredded chicken or pork, hard boiled eggs, etc. You can also use it to make things like oatmeal to have on hand for breakfast, or to try your hand at things like homemade yogurt, broth or stock, etc.

If a family is short on space and smaller in size, they have a mini version that might better fit their needs.
— Lindsay, The Lean Green Bean

For more of Lindsay's thoughts on, "Should I Buy an Instant Pot," check out this helpful article here.

 

STEP 5: PREP

One way that Lindsay initially inspired me was by introducing me to meal prep. Before this movement became the trendy thing to do, Lindsay was sharing how to make it practical for busy moms through her own weekly prep and a variety of posts on the topic. She shares tons of free tips and tricks about food prep here and even offers a complete toolkit in her Ultimate Guide to Food Prep E-Book (available here).

Some of my favorite posts she has shared on the topic are included here for reference. I know many of you are curious about this info, so thanks to Lindsay here it is:

Thank you Lindsay for being so masterful with food prep and showing each of us steps to be successful with it ourselves!


Happy National Nutrition Month!

To You and Your Family's Health,
Ashley & Lindsay