Family-Friendly Meal Plan: Week #19

Happy almost Mother's Day!

Knowing that almost all of my audience is made up of moms, I want to personally send my warm wishes to you for a special day of celebrating YOU this weekend! While you may be the main cook in the family (like me!), I hope that you either get a day off from cooking or find a new favorite meal from the menu below to enjoy around the table with those who fondly call you mom/mommy/mama.

 

Veggies & Virtue Meal Plan: Week of May 13

 
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STEP 1: PLAN

I admit, this week's plan was made up of many of MY favorites! Because even though what my kids *will* (or likely will not!) eat drives a lot of decisions around here, many of you know I am not shy to still try to introduce them to new flavors and other's favorites as well. So in honor of mom this week, I planned meals that are ones I often crave and enjoy!

If you want to see how I breakdown each meal to make sure that everyone has something at the table to enjoy (even if the main dish shown below itself isn't their favorite!), be sure you sign up for my newsletter where I give a full meal plan of the main course plus #loveitlikeitlearningit options for what goes with each night's menu.


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!

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STEP 2: PICK

A special thanks to each of the following contributors for the delicious recipe ideas this week!

Dinner Menu:

1 ǁ Seafood Sunday: Grilled Snapper Vera Cruz (Recipe by @foodnetwork)
Made with snapper from our Fish Fixe delivery.

2 ǁ Meatless Monday: Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad (Recipe by @natashaskitchen)

3 ǁ Taco Tuesday: Taco Bowls (Recipe by @damndelicious)

4 ǁ Asian Night: General Tso's (Recipe by @skinnytaste)

5 ǁ Salad Night: Blueberry Feta Salad (Recipe by @lemontreedwelling)

6 ǁ Pasta Night: Spaghetti (Recipe by @wholesome_child)

7 ǁ Family Night Out (slash Mom's Night Off!)


STEP 3: PAIR

Ideas and encouragement for how to offer #onemealtwoways from this week’s meal plan!

Family Meal: Blueberry feta and almond spinach salad (recipe from @lemontreedwelling above) with red potatoes and a whole roasted rotisserie chicken

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Kids plate (self-served by my 4 yo):
LOVE IT:
blueberries, roasted chicken legs, roasted red potatoes
LIKE IT: shredded spinach
LEARNING IT: feta, toasted almonds

My plate: I had some roasted chicken breast with potatoes and a tossed salad

I love roasting whole chickens. It allows my daughters to eat their favorite part (the legs), my husband to have his favorite (dark meat) and me as mom to eat a small amount of chicken breast while still having plenty leftover for lunches or another dinner during the week!


STEP 4: PURCHASE

 
 

What I Buy and Why: Cybele's Veggie Pasta

If you have followed any of my "Feeding Therapy Thursday" tips on Instagram, you know I am often taking about food chaining and how to gradually introduce more variety into our children's diets using small, singular changes to "love it foods" (or those foods we know our children tend to prefer). While it may seem like changing something as simple as the shape or the color of a pasta noodle is no big deal, any of us with apprehensive eaters knows that these changes can make or break a meal time.

That's one of the reasons I have LOVED introducing Cybele's Veggie Pasta in my home. Unlike a generic box of noodles or even a whole grain option, Cybele's allows me to food chain a favorite food (pasta) in a way that gets key nutrients in as well. With short ingredient lists containing only the foods my kids are otherwise "learning to like" (like lentils, cauliflower, kale, pumpkin, butternut squash, beets, sweet potatoes, and parsnips!), I have been able to swap out a standard noodle for Cybele's to provide a much bigger nutritional punch.

It has taken some time for my oldest to accept noodles in different shapes and especially any noodle made from lentils, but the first time I introduced Cybele's pink "princess noodles" (made from ren lentils, beets, sweet potatoes and carrots - that's it!), she took to them! Ever since, we continue to rotate through the colors as a fun new "love it food" I can feel good about offering.


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STEP 5: PREP

Suggested things I do to make my mom life easier:

1 ǁ Seafood Sunday: Grilled Snapper Vera Cruz (Recipe by @foodnetwork)

  • Use Fish Fixe for easy thawing. Make Vera Cruz sauce in advance. Wash and snap ends off of asparagus.

2 ǁ Meatless Monday: Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad (Recipe by @natashaskitchen)

  • Make in advance to eat for lunch and on taco night.

3 ǁ Taco Tuesday: Taco Bowls (Recipe by @damndelicious)

  • Cook rice and taco meat in advance. Prep corn to grill.

4 ǁ Asian Night: General Tso's (Recipe by @skinnytaste)

  • Buy pre-riced cauliflower. Make white rice in advance to mix.

5 ǁ Salad Night: Blueberry Feta Salad (Recipe by @lemontreedwelling)

  • Make salad dressing. Roast chicken in advance, or buy an already-made rotisserie if in need of an extra-easy dinner.

6 ǁ Pasta Night: Spaghetti (Recipe by @wholesome_child)

  • Make spaghetti sauce recipe in advance.

7 ǁ Family Night Out (slash Mom's Night Off!)

  • Put your feet up, and make someone else do the dishes!