Sunday, May 12, 2013

Monday Menu Plan

Let's take on the week with a menu plan.  Because, as always, when my meals are planned out in advance my stress level goes down.  It takes away the daily stress of thinking about what to make and the day can flow more easily when my mind is not stuck on what to eat next.

As always, the sides may change based on what's available when I go to the grocery, and any links provided are to the original recipe and may not reflect adaptations I make to suit our family's dietary restrictions.

Breakfast: pork sausage and sauteed green beans, carrots, onions, and potatoes
Lunch: pork bratwurst
Dinner: white bean quinoa burgers on buns, roasted asparagus, spiced peaches

Breakfast: baked apples topped with quinoa granola, green smoothie
Lunch: sunbutter and jelly
Dinner: grilled steak, carrot salad, blueberries, salad

Breakfast: diced steak and sauteed peppers, onions, and zucchini
Lunch: beef hot dogs
Dinner: turkey meatballs, sweet potato saute, green beans

Breakfast: turkey sausage and biscuit sandwiches, smoothie
Lunch: meatballs
Dinner: salmon patties, roasted veg, raspberry applesauce

Breakfast: Alexia saute sweets, green smoothie
Lunch: salmon patties
Dinner: cajun red beans and quinoa with andouille, corn, broccoli

Breakfast: bacon, hash browns, sauteed veggies
Lunch: pork basil burgers
Dinner: dal palak, quinoa pasta, peas, sliced pears

Breakfast: chia pudding
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: irish cottage pie, sliced melon

Friday, May 10, 2013

8 weeks of Snacks

I know that my family has a unique relationship with food and I accept that.  Having three children with food restrictions means being aware of every bite that goes into our mouths, in regard to both ingredients and nutrition.

This year I have been frustrated with the number of snacks being served at school, and kept trying to tell myself I was overreacting.  It seemed like the kids were being fed ALL THE TIME.  Most of the snacks were surprise snacks that were not safe for my kids.  That means lots of snacks from their safe stash at school.  I talked to myself many days, repeating that because I am more aware of food I was overly sensitive to the snacks being served.  I tried to talk myself into believing that my perception was off, that snacks were not as frequent as they seemed.

Finally, I decided to start tracking snacks on my calendar to be able to show myself that my perception is skewed on how often my kids are fed.  I really thought that once I put them all on the calendar I would be able to see in black and white that the snack situation was not as out of control as it often felt.

After 56 days of tracking, I found that I am not crazy, the school does feeed my kids all the time.  I gave them the stats, and I'm sharing them with you now.  Take a look, then consider tracking the food being given to your kids.  (I just tracked school.  Feel free to track extracurricular snacks as well if you really want your mind blown.)

The set above is pretty straightforward.  How many days snack was served during my tracking period, how many of the served snacks could be considered healthy food.  (I did mark pizza as healthy, though I know it is open for debate.) And the red one shows the number of times I was notified in advance of a snack being served.

These are a bit more involved.  I tracked specifically the reason each snack was given, then categorized them.  My daughter asked "Shouldn't random and other be combined?" Nope.  'Random' is the category that shows snacks that had absolutely no reason, like the day the teacher passed out Girl Scout cookies and told my daughter "I didn't know I was going to pass out cookies this morning.  I just decided."  No reason. 'Other' is my category where there was valid logic in providing a snack, but it didn't fall neatly into another category.

The red one shows the number of times the snack served was safe for my daughters to eat versus the snacks that were not safe.  As you can see, I have re-stocked their safe stash many times. 

Ponder the data.  Share your experience on the number of times someone tries to feed your kids.