Combination Cards

The ultimate WAY TO COME UP WITH SIMPLE, SATISFYING breakfast and lunch ideas your whole family can enjoy
- even amidst the hustle.

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DISCOVER THE EASE YOU CRAVE.

We all live busy lives, so naturally many decisions become auto-piloted for the sake of ease - including what to feed our family. While we know “exposure is everything” with our kids, the reality is we don’t have the time or energy to think up all sorts of new ideas or make elaborate recipes that aren’t eaten. So we start making meals on auto-pilot and quickly find ourselves making the same few foods each day - with the list of foods our child even likes decreasing. We know our children need nutritional variety and opportunities to try new foods, but it can be hard to shift away from auto-pilot without it being at the expense of our already limited time and energy.

it is possible to add variety without a lot of effort.

 

WHO AM I?

Hi, I am Ashley. The mom and pediatric dietitian behind Veggies & Virtue. It might surprise you that even as a dietitian, I am tempted to operate out of auto-pilot and ease in the area of feeding at times. With three kids five and under, I know firsthand how easy it is to default to offering foods that require minimal mental energy to come up with, are quick and easy to prepare, and meet everyone’s specific food preferences (even if they lack nutrition). While this may work for a season, what was once considered survival mode can’t become our everyday feeding rhythms and routines.

I have a lot of ambitious ideals for my family, especially when you weigh in my heightened desire for wanting to raise healthy eaters as a dietitian mom. But just like you, I struggle with being overwhelmed at times - including in the area of feeding. When I struggled with postpartum anxiety over the past year since my son was born, it was easy to feel stuck, stressed, and to assume, “I just can’t” - even in the area of coming up with new foods to offer.

That’s why I created Combination Cards.

 
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I believe:

  • I can take small, meaningful steps for my family that lead to subtle yet significant impact to nourish my kids. I can create good, lasting norms for our health and well being.

  • I can try, and I can learn from our trials.

  • I can create simple systems that make my life easier, and I can embrace any margin that comes as a result of it.

  • I can feel freedom that what I’m doing is enough, and I can include a few workable ideas when my family is ready for more.

  • I can refuse to be overwhelmed by all of the other ideas in existence and instead in this season, I can honor what works for my family.

I believe this for YOU too.

If as a dietitian mom I find myself needing Combination Cards as a resource to successfully simplify feeding each day, I suspect that maybe, just maybe, you could benefit from them too!

 

we need A new norm for nourishing OUR KIDS

 

Deciding what to feed our families doesn’t need to be a daunting task we are burdened with day after day. Instead of offering the same few foods on repeat, we need to establish a new norm for nourishing our kids and offering their favorites at breakfast and lunch time.

Combination Cards show you clear and simple how to combine different foods for well-rounded, easy meal ideas that can be packed and portable or eaten at home. There are two week’s worth of options you can plan ahead or execute on the fly without compromising the nutritional quality. These “staple” meal combinations give you endless ways to help your child learn to like more variety and ultimately improve the nutrition they get at breakfast and/or lunch.

 

Are you tired of coming up with what to offer? I can help.

Are you stuck in a rut with what to offer? Overwhelmed with their being SO many meal ideas out there and yet you find yourself making the same few things each day? Are you discouraged that your child(ren) is not exposed to more healthy food and yet exhausted at the very idea of incorporating more variety?

What if I told you we could work with where you’re at right now - even if it is Cheerios every morning and PB&J for lunch everyday? What if I told you that without giving you a laundry list of MORE options, you could be successful in leveraging LESS options? What if I told you that you don’t need to be masterful at meal planning or do more meal prep to incorporate new variety? What if I told you that you could branch out beginning with one food, one meal, one day at a time? What if I told you that your child can become a more adventurous eater by using simple strategies to help them branch out?

That’s what Combination Cards do.


So What are Combination Cards?

Each deck of Combination Cards comes with 10 common, kid-friendly staple meal options for breakfast or lunch.

With these ideas, you can:

  • Prepare new, nourishing COMBINATIONS: With ideas for how to utilize the Love it, Like it, Learning it® framework at breakfast or how to serve lunches both at home and on the go, the front side of every Combination Card shows you different “combinations.” These act as a blueprint you can follow exactly or modify as you see fit for breakfast or lunch time.

  • Offer more variety with the suggested VARIATIONS: On the backside of every Combination Card, you will see five ways to modify the sample meal. These examples show you simply how to “food chain” familiar foods so that you can mindlessly start expanding on the foods (and ultimately nutrition) you offer your family without having to feel pressure to come up with an entirely new meal. With simple swaps and dietitian-mom suggestions, the backside of each Combination Card is intended to inspire you with endless ways of offering a given food or meal idea.

Combination Cards leverage simple staples to offer endless, effortless variety.

The front of each card shows you a simple combination to offer using the Love it, Like it, Learning it ® framework (at breakfast) or to serve either at home or on the go (at lunch). On the back, you will find several variations of the meal to change up the main course with. These small swaps add gradual variety to your child's diet. Ultimately, this helps your child to eat a more balanced diet and become a more competent eater, while giving you more options to offer that they accept.

Combination Cards are not the end all be all for breakfast and lunch ideas. You have Pinterest for that. Instead, Combination Cards help free you from elaborate recipes and involved meal ideas to come up with straight-forward combinations, nourishing options, and yet endless potential to prevent picky eating. Through the two weeks of staple combinations and endless suggested variations, you can include, swap out, or mix up breakfast and lunch options in whatever way best fits your family’s taste preferences.

Stop the struggle.

I have been hearing you and the struggles so many of you echo:

It is easy to get stuck in a rut with lunch...
I am out of ideas for healthy interesting meals my toddler will actually eat...
I need more variety to help my kids try new foods for breakfast...
I am struggling with variety at meals and expanding picky eating...
 

Ready to get out of the rut? Now is your chance.

Breakfast and Lunch Combination Cards are now available. If you want to get your deck(s) for Back to School or just in time to add some inspiration to what you’re already offering, these are for you.

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Frequently Asked Questions

+ How much are Combination Cards?

Combination Cards sell for $18 each deck or you can purchase both the Breakfast and Lunch decks for $35. To buy as a bundle with my grocery tear off pad, you can get all three for $42.

+ What can I expect with the breakfast deck of Combination Cards?

The breakfast deck of Combination Cards gives you ten staples to have on standby each morning. If you are currently offering the same few breakfast items on repeat, these cards will help you work through the Love it, Like it, Learning it ® framework to help you gain more variety in your family's diet. By offering options of breakfast foods that your child "loves," "likes," or is "still learning," these cards help you to exercise the habit of ongoing exposure to new foods alongside known favorites. These cards provide you with different variations of common breakfast foods, so that you can expand your child's lists of preferred foods to include more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, protein, and healthy fats both at breakfast time and beyond.

+ What can I expect with the lunch deck of Combination Cards?

The lunch deck of combination cards gives you ten staples to have on standby. While this is far from an exhaustive list of lunch options for your family, it offers ten nourishing, simple combinations that you can effortlessly rotate through without the overwhelm of too many options (or excess food that ends up wasted!). You are encouraged to try the lunch ideas shown at home or on the go/in a packed lunchbox. Both will include the same base meal and then on the back of every card will give you additional ideas for how to make other variations of the meal shown.

+ How do I use combination cards?

Bored of the basics? Add some variety to the breakfast and lunch options you offer by pairing well-rounded combinations of fruits, vegetables, starches, and protein. If you want more inspiration outside of the original idea shown, flip the card over for several other variations. By rotating through different cards, you will keep your family from getting in a rut with the same foods - further expanding what nutrition your child gets to enjoy at the beginning or in the middle of each day!

+ Will my child accept the variations?

Ideally, you want to make variations that are big enough for a child to notice and yet small enough they will still eat them. These variations are ideas that add range to the diet, but may need to be modified into smaller, more subtle changes for some children. For children who already love a given option, keep branching out with other variations to help them learn to like these lunch time options in as many ways as possible!

+ Where can I find more recipe ideas and inspiration like those shown on my Combination Cards?

You can search for Veggies & Virtue on Pinterest to find a folder that was created for each of the main menu items included on these Combination Cards. While not all of the recipe ideas pinned have been sampled or screened for nutritional balance, the recipes chosen may give ideas for healthy variety.

To connect on Pinterest, go to: www.pinterest.com/veggiesnvirtue/

+ What age are Combination Cards intended for?

Children of all ages can benefit from the ideas and inspiration shown on these Combination Cards. However, the serving sizes shown may best resemble an average 2-5 year old. Each child's appetite and calorie needs are unique and vary, however, so you may notice that the amounts shown seem like "a lot" or "not enough" for your child based on how much your own child eats. That's perfectly normal. You are encouraged to adjust what "small," "regular," and "large" servings mean to your child. Additionally, each deck of Combination Cards comes with a food portion size guide for children ages 1-10.

+ What if my child has a food allergy or special dietary need?

Combination Cards are intended to provide inspiration and may be easily adapted for a variety of dietary needs. By having these sample cards available, you will be able to easily insert in or substitute out whatever food options best fit for your family in the given menu idea.

+ Do you include grocery lists for these ideas?

Yes, the lunch deck of combination cards given suggested shopping lists for each lunch shown.