If your experience is anything like mine, your children have developed some eating habits that are, let's delicately say, less than ideal. Before I had my first baby, I didn't really think about this issue at all. I figured I would breastfeed for a year, and then my child would eat nothing but homemade applesauce and exotic gourmet meals that I would suddenly find time to make.
*hope springs eternal* 😇
The breastfeeding part worked out, but the rest went into the Giant Fanciful Idea Receptacle In The Sky. My toddlers ate exactly what I swore would never happen: vast amounts of Goldfish crackers, those weird little puff things, an obscene amount of macaroni and cheese, and a proclaimed love for pepperoni pizza. The most "exotic" thing they ate was french fries. Now, my kids are 6 and 11. While they no longer eat puffs, they are still quite reluctant to try new foods. They do like fresh fruit, but the "v word" makes their faces pinch up like someone has very indelicately relieved a gas situation.
I've tried for many years now to get them to be more adventurous in their eating. It's a slow process, to be sure. But Anne now likes shrimp and Henry has tried Roast Beef on Weck (it's a Buffalo thing).
We're getting there. But the only way they try new things is if they have no choice via what I make for dinner. And making something healthy and exotic for dinner means that I have to plan it. I need to make the menu over the weekend, procure all necessary groceries, and have things ready to go for the week. This does happen, but not always. It can be exhausting. :0
While I was visiting my sister over Memorial Day weekend, she introduced me to Prep Dish.
This is a subscription website whereby you get a menu for the week of 4 dinners, a salad, a breakfast, a snack and a dessert. The other days, of course, you can have leftovers and other stand by's, go out to eat, etc. You get a big grocery list for the week, broken down into categories (Dairy, Fruit, etc). Then, you have a "prep day" in which you are guided through preparing each of these meals, and storing the prepared ingredients away into your refrigerator. As you move through the week, you pull out the necessary prepped items, and have only a few steps to complete the meal. This is very handy during the work and school week, as you can imagine. The food is based on either a gluten free approach or Paleo. We as a family do not need to use either of these restrictions, so I simply use the gluten free menu and just include an ingredient we would normally use rather than it's recommended gluten free counterpart. The meals are mainly based upon a whole food and fresh ingredient approach, which is of course universal. And it's delicious, truly.
This isn't an affiliate post, I'm gettin' nothin' for writing this. :0 I just signed up for the free trial, and I have to say that I love it. The grocery list is THE BOMB. The categorization made it infinitely easier to find things at the grocery store. It's fun trying new things, and the food tastes wonderful. Monday we had a citrus marinated chicken with pineapple salsa, and tonight we're having a ginger/soy sauce stir fry with beef and bell peppers. Friday is an egg fritatta with mushrooms and kalamata olives. I brought in the snack with me to work today, which is a yogurt dill sauce for dipping fresh carrots and zucchini.
I'm enjoying having someone else do the planning for me. Has anyone else tried a menu planning subscription like this? I'd love to hear about it!
I've never done a meal plan or meal delivery service, but I imagine that I might once I go back to work. My husband is not into cooking although he has tried his hand at it. I figure if my schedule is wonky I might not end up the one cooking so he'll need all the help he can get.ReplyDelete
We have had therapy though because in HB's case his pickiness is due to sensory issues. It's taken us a while but he does eat some veggies in small quantities. There's a lot of methods though than any parent can integrate into getting children to eat more. Food chaining like starting one one food the child already likes and integrating into in a meal with a food they don't works well. Preparing different foods different ways. Getting the child to try a food knowing that they don't have to eat it and can spit it out is also good. Sometimes HB is surprised to learn he likes something. The idea is to encourage but not pressure.
Food prep things take the pressure off the parent too. The child can't blame you because you are all trying something new and sometimes it may not taste good. But that's okay. We don't have to like everything we're trying. It's just experimenting. I do that when trying a new recipe. We're all trying it and the kids understand that even mom and dad sometimes think it's terrible. No big deal. We can always eat something else if it's really bad.
Delta, I like your spin on this. It's true, we're *all* trying new things. I never make my kids finish food if they don't like it, I tell them they just have to try it, like you. I read a book called "French Kids Eat Everything" that I really enjoyed, a memoir about a Canadian family who lived in France for a year. The author mentions that she learned that it can take children (indeed, people in general) a dozen or more tries of something before they like it. You can experiment with preparing certain foods in different and aesthetically appealing ways so that children are more willing to keep trying it. I really find this stuff interesting!Delete