OT - Recommendations for better eating (for the whole family)

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from IPWBride. Show IPWBride's posts

    OT - Recommendations for better eating (for the whole family)

    Hello all,

    This is way off topic as it is more geared toward the adults in the house, but I certainly hope to start giving my DS (and future DS2) better eating options as well.  I've seen so many ways to eat "healthy" over the years, with the newest trend being Paleo.  Have friends who swear by it.  I like the concept, but don't want to go 100% paleo as my family really needs our dairy and whole grains.  All in all, I just want to feel better about what we are eating.  Starting now, I want to get better about reading labels and learning how much is too much of something (saw a great website that said "more than 7 ingredients... leave it on the shelf").  I know eating well should be common sense... more "real" foods, less foods from a box.  But sometimes its not so easy.  I do have a Trader Joes nearby and hoping to transition more of my shopping there.  Would love to hear what those of you, who feel really good about what they eat, do.  Any cookbooks that focus on using less or more natural forms of sugar, and how to cook with whole wheat flours and oats and such.  I looked at a Paleo cookbook and I think its too drastic for me.  This isn't about weight loss.. just about feeling good about what my family and I are eating, maybe feeling fuller longer, but not doing any kind of crazy elimination diets (except I'm willing to stop buying things with ingredients I can't pronounce starting right... now!)

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from KAM2007. Show KAM2007's posts

    Re: OT - Recommendations for better eating (for the whole family)

    IPW-the easest way is to just shop the edge of the store, produce, meat, and dairy. Of course getting whole grains is important too.

    We are huge fans of TJ-but a lot of their prepared items are just as bad for you.

    The few boxed items we buy, are crackers, granola bars, pasta and cheerios-everything else I make from scratch. Okay, we do buy bread and torillas pre-made, and ice cream. :) Currently I'm looking for a good granola bar receipe. I love cooking and doing things from scratch-I even make my own vanilla (crazy easy). I love this stuff! (I'm not creative or inclined to be creative with any other craft.)

    I only buy whole wheat and have used that for what ever I bake-no big conversion needed-though I have yet to find a good pancake & waffle  recipe that gets them light and fluffy. But I make my brownies with whole wheat (the Ghirardelli semi-sweet cocoa powder is what I use for my chocolate-yummy brownie and frosting!) I have no problem using sugar when I am making something from scratch-it's actually way less then what is in prepackaged foods. I've been known to make a batch of cookie dough, roll out into balls and freeze it. As 2-3 cookies are needed, take them out, pop them on a cookie sheet and 7-8 min later you have home made cookies.

    Things I do to make life easier-big batch of brown rice-I typicall cook two cups of raw rice at night, (since it takes about 45 min), and keep it stored in the fridge and that will feed us for the week, easy to measure out smaller amounts.

    I'll take 2 lbs of ground beef and make a big batch of meat balls, shred in onion, carrots, peppers, any other veggie I have on hand. I'll cook them, then freeze. when it's a quick dinner night, boil pasta, throw a few meatballs in a pan, make a quick sauce and a quick dinner in the time it takes to heat the meatballs & cook pasta.

    I find a few easy pepped items a week in the freezer make the rest of my meal planning easier.

     

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from kiwigal. Show kiwigal's posts

    Re: OT - Recommendations for better eating (for the whole family)

    IPW, I would recommend the book, "Real Food--What to eat and Why", by Nina Planck. It's not a cookbook, but makes a compelling case for eating real, whole foods. She talks a lot about good combinations of foods for best health benefits, etc. It's a pretty quick, easy read. It also matches my philosophy of eating simple foods with the least amount of processing. There are all sorts of great links and references in the notes, too.

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from amy-lynn. Show amy-lynn's posts

    Re: OT - Recommendations for better eating (for the whole family)

    IPW - What I'm about to say is probably stuff you've heared before, but, here goes: First off, my mom was a public health nutritionist, so I grew up with a lot of exposure to healthy eating, and most of what I'm saying comes from that.

    1) Moderation is key in all this. Eating healthy shouldn't be an exercise in depravation. For example, growing up my mom never bought non-diet soda, but we always had cookies in the house, and she would pack 2-3 in our lunches, along with our whole wheat bread sandwich and piece of fruit.

    2) Eat breakfast, and don't limit yourself to "breakfast" foods. I frequently ate Cambell's Chunky soup for breakfast, since I figure skated twice a week before school. My mom liked cheese toast - a slice of bread with cheese melted on it in the toaster oven. 

    3) Shop primarily on the perimeter of the grocery store - Produce, Meat/Seafood counters, Dairy aisle. But remember, frozen veggies are just as good as fresh, and sometimes less work (no washing/chopping)

    4) Make more of your own meals, then you know what is in it. Also, nonstick cookware means you can use less fat to cook with.

    As far as recipes go, I am a big fan of cooking light magazine, I also like America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, and America's Test Kitchen Slow Cooker Revolution, and America's Test Kitchen Best Simple Recipes. I like the King Arthur Flour Cookbook for anything baking related, they have tips for using whole wheat in many of their recipes, as well as chapters devoted to whole wheat breads. 

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from WhirledPeasPlease. Show WhirledPeasPlease's posts

    Re: OT - Recommendations for better eating (for the whole family)

    IPW, my struggles are always putting meals together--I know individual foods that are good, but they don't make up lunches or dinner! I've had good luck with allrecipies.com and using the "healthy recipes" collection. You can type in certain ingredients you have and good from there. 

    For grocery shopping, I've had good luck with the Fooducate app (I use it on iPhone; no idea if there's an Android equivalent). You scan bar codes and it grades the food A through D- and tells you why, what's in it, suggests alternatives, etc. It's a free app. 

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from siena09. Show siena09's posts

    Re: OT - Recommendations for better eating (for the whole family)

    I would stop worrying about the paleo diet.  It makes little dietary or scientific sense:

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-paleo-diet-half-baked-how-hunter-gatherer-really-eat

    I agree that fewer processed foods and more whole grains is a great idea though.  To incorporate whole wheat into your dessert baking, pancakes & waffles, buy either white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour, and start by substituting 1/3 to 1/2 of the white flour with one of these varieties.  Then increase the proportion as tolerated.  If you try it with whole wheat bread flour (often just labeled "whole wheat flour"), the results won't be very good.

    I've been having fun with healthier dessert recipes from this blog:

    http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/

    I've tried her black bean brownies and chickpea blondies with great success.  (They sound much weirder than they taste, and they have a nice fudgy texture. Plus they are really quick to make if you have a good food processor.)

    Do you have specific favorite recipes or cuisines that you are trying to make healthier versions of?  How does your family currently cook/eat? 

    ETA: Also, for me, a big help is that I buy very little in the way of snack food besides fresh fruit. I try not to buy stuff at the grocery store that I know I will have trouble limiting my consumption of later. It's easier to have self control at the store than once it's sitting in my kitchen.  

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: OT - Recommendations for better eating (for the whole family)

    As far as getting the whole family to eat better, I got a lot of good ideas from the Weelicious cookbook

    http://www.amazon.com/Weelicious-Fast-Fresh-Easy-Recipes/dp/0062078445/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1377396310&sr=8-2&keywords=weelicious

    There is also a blog weelicious.com and all of her recipes are right there for free.

    As everyone else has mentioned - buy fewer prepared foods. I have to make almost everything from scratch so my lactose intolerant husband can eat it. EVERYTHING has milk or whey in it. So almost all prepared or frozen foods are off limits. You just figure out how to make things work for your family.

    I think Whole Foods is wildly expensive and Trader Joe's is full of frozen junk IMHO. I just try and buy fresh fruit, fresh or frozen veggies, lean meat, cheese, bread, rice, etc. from our regular grocery store. And I get help from the store where I can - frozen chopped onions and prechopped garlic in a jar are real time savers for me.

    And I also make a batch of cookies, portion them out and freeze. Then we can have a few fresh, hot cookies without baking and eating a whole batch at once!

    My kids get all their juice watered down at lest 50% - and my DH has started drinking his that way too.

    I don't cut out any one food group - I'm never giving up bread or butter or meat - but we try to eat lots of fruit and veggies.

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: OT - Recommendations for better eating (for the whole family)

    We make all our flour products with organic (GMO wheat has tons more gluten than "original") SPROUTED grains.  Google sprouted grain and you can read about how it is processed by your body like vegetables.  It has made a huge difference in how we (me and DH) feel especially digestively, and I notice I don't get bloated from it like I do regular white flour.  My favorite is One Degree (brand) organic sprouted spelt from amazon.  I get it in the 6 pack of 5 lbs each bag - cheapest per pound.  I eat white flour so infrequently, now, that I notice a distinct difference for having eaten it...ugh.  We like the taste - it could easily pass for whole wheat.  Ezekiel products are all made with sprouted grains, pasta, tortillas, breads...you don't have to do the baking, but it is cheaper.

    Crisco was my biggest source of transfat;  I have completely replaced it in my biscuit and other baking with organic coconut oil.  It's solid at room temp, but the medium chain triglyceride is top notch health food.  It also has a high smoke point meaning it is stable (unlike olive oil) against oxidation (bad) in the frying pan.

    For general nutrition advice (better than any "diet") I highly recommend Nutrition For Dummies.  No offense, lol. ;)

    ETA:  I'm 41, slender, and eat a balanced diet (my aunt is a nutritionist) that includes treats.  Balance and moderation negate the need to "diet."  I do count calories, but no food is disallowed in my life.  Life is too short and beer too tasty.  The key to not wanting tons of junk is just not eating it.  After about 6 months it won't taste as good as you remember it did.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Discretion is the better part of valor.

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from IPWBride. Show IPWBride's posts

    Re: OT - Recommendations for better eating (for the whole family)

    Thanks everyone - all really great suggestions.  I absolutely love to cook and grew up with a mom who easily could have been a gourmet chef.  Rarely the same meal twice.  Also lots of eating out, so I'm a big "foodie."  I read this amazing article last night about food labels, and how they really trick the consumer to thinking something is healthy and good for you.  I definitely now know that "non-fat" is usually not the best option (way more sugar).  I did a big grocery shop yesterday at TJs... all perimeter too.  Tons of fruits, veggies, good dairy and very tasty wheat bread sweetened with honey rather than corn syrup (which is in most "regular" breads).  I don't want to go crazy and become a kitchen demon... but when I can, I want to make the better choice.  And I did read the labels yesterday.  I thought their frozen sweet potato fries would just be frozen sweet potato pieces that you bake.  Nope... some stuff in there I've never heard of.  So I put those back, whereas those used to go in the cart.  I have a mandolin someone in my house.. so I bought a giant bag of sweet potatoes and will just figure out how to use that thing :-) 

    I love some of your ideas about the make-aheads... the meatballs and the frozen cookies.  With #2 on the way, I know I won't be able to make everything from scratch.  But fruits and veggies basically make themselves.  And with a pre-cooked tuperware full of brown rice or steel cut oatmeal (my fav!!), those are easily heated and served. 

    Already feeling better :-)

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: OT - Recommendations for better eating (for the whole family)

    This is great, thanks for starting it, IPW.

    Quick, somewhat off-topic question - tricks for preventing freezer burn in frozen veggies? The times I buy them it always seems like by the time I open them to use, they are freezer-burned, which I feel definitely affects flavor. Will take tricks for freezing in general. Love the cookie idea.

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from rama8677. Show rama8677's posts

    Re: OT - Recommendations for better eating (for the whole family)

    I'm enjoying reading this thread, always nice to get some new ideas for healthier eating.

    What I find the most challenging is dinnertime with two young (hungry!!) kids during the week.   I work three days until almost 6 and by the time we get home, they need to eat right away.  What works for us is to make larger batches of meals that they like and freeze.  On the nights when I get home late, I just defrost a protein and steam a veggie and dinner for the kids is done.  We try to eat as a family a few nights a week where we all eat the same thing but the rest of the time I just feed the kids before DH comes home and then give them fruit or yogurt to eat while DH and I eat our dinner a little later.  Some good frozen meals my kids like are chicken tenders dipped in plain yogurt and breadcrumbs, turkey meatballs, turkey meatloaf (easy to hide veggies!), and mac n cheese (homemade with cauliflower puree hidden in the sauce.  My kids also love any kind of ravioli and any soup with noodles (which I make ahead and freeze in portion sized containers).  My DD1 loves steamed broccoli and steamed carrots, which are very quick, and both kids love fresh berries.

    I find that planning ahead makes a big difference for DH and I too.  We try to have fish one night a week and that's easily prepared either baking in the oven or grilling.  We also usually have a mexican dish one night with veggies, chicken, beans,salsa, and one night we usually have a big salad with egg and grilled chicken and all of the leftover veggies from other meals. 

    Anyone have ideas of other go-to low cal and easy to prepare meals?

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: OT - Recommendations for better eating (for the whole family)

    We are also big fans of veggie-filled pasta of any kind (ravioli, tortellini). Has anyone ever tried to make these from scratch?

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from IPWBride. Show IPWBride's posts

    Re: OT - Recommendations for better eating (for the whole family)

    I'm so envious of kids who will try stuff and eat their veggies.  My son is becoming less and less adventurous instead of more at almost 3.  He's pretty much a protein (with ketchup), fruit and yogurt kid, with the very, very occasional noodle or brown rice. So last night he had turkey burger, apples and strawberries, that's it (and 1/2 cup of ketchup with the burger!).  Wanted none of our grilled veggies, tomatoes/mozzerella or pasta salad. (thank goodness the burgers had cheese and red peppers mixed inside).  He also seems to really only like foods that are singular.  And by that I mean... nothing mixed together.  He will eat a noodle, but wouldn't touch lasagna.  Would eat a piece of chicken (doused in ketchup) but never a taco or enchillada.  Never soup or chili.  Whereas I love to make things that have multiple items... so its a bit challenging when I refuse to be a short order cook making all these different meals.  If I make a chicken marsala, I cut a bit of the grilled chicken before it goes back in the sauce and that's his main course.

    Rama... care to share that mac n cheese with cauliflower recipe?  Sounds awesome.

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from lissafro. Show lissafro's posts

    Re: OT - Recommendations for better eating (for the whole family)

    I am not one for giving things up, but moderation I'm very good at.  I've had success with using small plates to control portion sizes.

    I love to cook and both DH and I get home by 4PM so I can usually get dinner on the table by 5 or 5:30 (before you get too jealous, remember we're all out of the house by 6:30AM). I am a huge carb fiend; carbs really are my favorite.  DD1 is a protein queen.  DH and DD2 will eat anything put in front of them in large quantities. I plan out my whole week's worth of meals before I go grocery shopping.  I brainstorm what I'm going to make every night, trying to work in variety as well as anticipate leftovers and strategize how to spend less money by using the circular to plan the protein and build around that.  I make a list so I don't forget anything and we go grocery shopping early in the morning before it gets too crowded.  This sounds kind of crazy if it's not what you do, but once you get used to it you will realize that you are actually spending less time thinking about dinner and a lot less time in the store.  Plus, if you do it right you'll spend less money.  

    What I do is sit down with the circular and look at the meat prices.  I figure out what is cheapest value-pack this week and build two meals around that by adding different carbs and different veggies. For example, if drumsticks are the cheapest I'll plan pasta with a loaded sauce and lots of veggies for one night (one when I don't have much time) and grilled drumsticks with sweet potatoes and corn and green beans another night, later in the week. I ALWAYS plan at least one night with beans as the protein. Rice and beans with avocado and salsa and plantains are a big hit in my house. I almost always have some kind of stir fry by the end of the week, using either leftover rice from the night before (I make more on purpose), or soba noodles.  With stir fries I do lots of veggies and tofu, sometimes even leftover meat if we've got it.  The girls aren't allergic to anything so I'll make a thai peanut sauce.  You can buy a jar of it if you don't feel like making one.  That usually gets me to Thursday or Friday, when I will plan on going back to the store to get some fish.  Omelettes are great at night.  If you plan ahead, you can used leftover baked potatoes and make home fries, mmmm.  When it's cold I do a lot of soups.  The girls love them and they reheat great at lunch at work.

    Pretty much anything you make yourself from scratch is going to be healthier than something else.  So when I make fried plantains, sure, they're fried and definitely not "everyday food" but it's not the end of the world. It helps that my daughters and my husband all eat anything that's put in front of them.  Some of that is just luck and some of it is that they don't really have any other options. Keep it whole-grain (NOT "multi-grain," that means nothing) for your carb.  Soba noodles, brown rice, farro, quinoa, bulgur wheat, etc.  Add a protein, garbanzos, peanuts, tofu, tempeh, shrimp, lentils, black beans, chicken, pork, lamb, beef, fish, etc. Lots of veggies and you're all set. A sauce, if you're into that sort of thing.

    When you're making your grocery list, remember to get enough veggies for snacks.  I chop mine and put them in a tupperware at the beginning of the week (ok, DH chops them for me usually) and dole them out as needed for lunches and snacks.  Lots of hummus and salsa consumption in this house. 

    I know people feel overwhelmed cooking after working all day. I feel like I'd be more stressed out not knowing what I'm going to eat and having to go to the store all the time.  It doesn't take long to make things, really.  It's not like you're going to try to roast a turkey on a Wednesday (though turkey drumsticks are a huge hit for their Renaissance Faire appeal haha).  Boil water for pasta, rice, or potatoes, saute veggies and meat, then serve.  Less than an hour, usually.

     

     

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from lissafro. Show lissafro's posts

    Re: OT - Recommendations for better eating (for the whole family)

    Poppy, freezer burn is caused by thawing and refreezing.  Try grabbing the frozen veggies last before you go to the register and putting them in the freezer at home as soon as you can.  If you bring a cooler for meat and dairy transit, put the frozen veggies in there too.

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: OT - Recommendations for better eating (for the whole family)

    Thanks, Lissa.


    IPW, I'm in the same boat. Everything described in these posts sounds so yummy, and DD would not touch 99% of it. She would rather go without dinner entirely (which we're finally just letting her do, rather than attempting any sort of force-feeding. She just ends up eating more breakfast.)

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from rama8677. Show rama8677's posts

    Re: OT - Recommendations for better eating (for the whole family)


    IPW, sure!  It's Creamy Cauliflower Mac n Cheese from a Mark Bittman cookbook, The Food Matters. It's not the healthiest dinner but gets a veggie in the kids and tastes pretty good.

    Ingredients

    • Cooking Spray
    • Salt

    • 2.5 cups veggie/chicken stock or water
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 cauliflower, cored and separated into large pieces
    • 8 ounces elbow pasta (I use whole wheat)
    • 3/4 cup grated cheese (I use cheddar/mozzarella/jack combo or whatever is around)
    • 1/4 cup sour cream
    • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    • 1 ⁄8 teaspoon nutmeg, or to taste
    • salt/pepper
    • 1 ⁄2 cup breadcrumbs
    • Cooking oil

    Heat the oven to 400°F. Grease a 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Boil water in medium sized pot. Put the stock with the bay leaves in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. When small bubbles appear along the sides, about 5 minutes later, turn off the heat and let stand.

    Cook the cauliflower in the boiling water until very tender (takes 20 to 25 minutes).  Remove cauliflower and add the pasta to the boiling water and cook about 5 minutes - it will be unedible still.

    Remove the bay leaves from the stock. Put caluliflower in food processor with 2 cups of the stock, the cheese, sour cream, mustard, nutmeg, salt and pepper and a tablespoon of cooking oil to loosen it up if needed. If the sauce seems too thick, add the remaining 1⁄2 cup stock. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Pour the sauce over the pasta, toss, and spread the mixture evenly in the dish.

    Sprinkle the top with bread crumbs. Bake until the pasta is bubbling and the crumbs turn brown, about 20 minutes.

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: OT - Recommendations for better eating (for the whole family)

    Oh, another tool I use is my immersion blender.  To get kids to eat veggies, roast whole zucchini then blend it with chicken stock for a "creamy" soup base for anything your family likes.  I cut up and sauté chicken breast to put in it along with sauteed mushrooms and/or steamed veggies.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Discretion is the better part of valor.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from lissafro. Show lissafro's posts

    Re: OT - Recommendations for better eating (for the whole family)

    Someone said something earlier about the kids eating breakfast more than dinner--I might be wrong but I think that's a thing that they are supposed to do at that age, or at least it's fairly common for them to front-load the calories.  They are really hungry after being asleep and they eat. If you have time in the morning (we don't but I guess some people do), you can always try to serve dinner-type food in the morning, or at least some fruits and veggies.  There's no rule that says it has to be cereal and toast and waffles in the morning. You can always just give them leftovers from the night before, which would be supremely easy and kind of awesome.

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: OT - Recommendations for better eating (for the whole family)

    OK, I am not the paragon that lissafro is (I am, however, out of the house at 6:30am but alas, I am home at 7pm, sometimes 6:30pm, gotta love my life) BUT when I'm most successful I do what she does re: planning meals.  I absolutely write down on a chart the meal for each night, including what I'll serve with the main course (rice? noodles? which vege?)- I even write the name of the recipe book and the page where it's on so I don't have to try to search, etc.  Then I go shopping on Sunday morning with a list of exactly what I need for those meals.  My husband is a FREAK about freezing meats that won't be eaten within 2 days (sigh) so anything I plan to serve on Wed and onward must.be.frozen.  SO.... on my chart I ALSO write down what I need to take out the night before and put in fridge to defrost so I have the darned meat ready.  Sigh. Seriously, meat is frozen on a Sunday morning only to be taken OUT of the freezer and placed in fridge on a Tuesday night.  (anyone want a husband for free, LOL?) 

    That way I don't even have to think about which frozen veges to take out and cook - believe me, when you get home at 7pm and you don't want to eat at 9pm, you gotta be organized.  i also consider what our plans are for each night so I can plan in the leftovers or warm-ups from a few days ago and I enter that into the chart, too. 

    My go to, unfortunately, is a huge bowl of pasta with homemade pasta meat sauce.  Unfortunately, I could eat that every day of my life but my husband can't.  (offer for free husband still stands).  Also unfortunately he cannot/will not/just doesn't think about dinner so although he's home by 5pm (and often before) every night he doesn't do dinner. BUT if the meal is carefully written on the chart, and I ask him to do it, he'll make dinner that night.  But he doesn't drive home thinking about what to have for dinner (ha! to woman's lib!) and I do unless there is a plan.

    Now, of course, there hasn't been a plan for the last 2 or 3 months while I was running ragged at work and then we had vacation.  But I will get back into the saddle and things will be better.  I also try to make a more difficult meal on the weekends (and double the amount we can eat) so I have a leftover for one night.  WHAT did we do before microwaves? oh, right, reheat food in double boilers and boy was that gross!

    For frozen veges and frozen meat we have ziplock bags that have valves and we can suck the air out of them with a vacuum thingy.  Sadly that is no longer on the market so there are only not as good bags but that worked really well.  I don't have a bigger whatchamacallit that they advertise on tv that will suck out the air of the bags, but that really helps with freezer burn.  We don't use a whole bag of frozen veges at a meal, so I always have to make sure they don't get freezer burn.  I don't let them defrost - I take out what I need and then immediately put them back in the freezer.  We also wrap (actually, my husband does this - because he who is crazy re; freezing foods must do the work) every freakin' piece of meat in saran wrap before wrapping in aluminum foil if we don't have enough of the cool valve ziplock bags to use.

     

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from Arcain. Show Arcain's posts

    Re: OT - Recommendations for better eating (for the whole family)

    Ditto on the planning meals for the week -- I'm so glad I made a habit of that when I went back to work. We do a CSA during the summer/fall, too, which forces me to incorporate more veggies into meals for DH and me. With the CSA, I plan meals based on what's in that week's share, shop for whatever else I need, and keep an inventory of the CSA veggies to make sure we use them all.

    Unfortunately we have the same constraints on healthy eating for DS as others mentioned: he has to eat almost as soon as we get home, so family dinners are a rare weekend treat, and he is super picky and won't touch most veggies. We're a pescatarian family, too, so all his protein comes from fish, dairy, LOTS of peanut butter, occasionally beans, and all the whole grains I can stuff into him. For his breakfast (apples and oatmeal) I actually still use the frozen cube trick from the days when he was eating purees. I cook up a bunch of apples, mix them into a chunky sauce, and freeze them in trays. I make 3 servings of oatmeal at a time and DH can just microwave that together in the morning. I've tried to keep doing that with squash, one of the few veggies he'd eat, but I dropped the ball on it for awhile and now he refuses even that -- sigh.

    I do sneak veggies into him via veggie burgers and these Dr. Praeger's spinach pancakes that he likes, but frankly his dinners are usually PB&J, grilled cheese, fish sticks or fillets, and occasionally a bean and cheese quesadilla when he doesn't randomly decide it's the grossest thing he's ever tasted. 

     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from clc51510. Show clc51510's posts

    Re: OT - Recommendations for better eating (for the whole family)

    A few weeks ago I took 5 hours on a Sunday and prepped 10 crockpot meals to feeze and cook one each week.  For all of them I made them big enough that they result in one day of leftovers.  It's an easy way to get dinner out of the way for two nights each week.  There are some great recipe ideas on Pinterest if you have the time and energy to prep them.  I actually only made 5 different recipes and then doubled them.  It was cheaper and easier for me to buy double the ingredients than buy for 10 separate recipes. 

    Also, I keep a few staple items in the house that I can make an easy meal out of any night: spinach and cheese raviolis (DS loves these!), Amy's Organic Bean & Rice burritos (BJ's sells a 6 pack which is reasonably priced), soft shell taco kits and for when I'm really desperate Hot Pockets!

     

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