Menu planning and recipes

If you are anything like me, trying to figure out what’s healthy, that the kids will eat, that doesn’t take 17 hours of prep AND isn’t the same thing you’ve eaten every day for the last 3 weeks, can be a challenge. Here is what we do, in our house, to rise to that challenge…. most days.

I feel like I’ve got dinner down pat, most of the time I know what I’m cooking, approximately how long it will take, and have the groceries in the house (and if not, Safeway is a block away, PHEW!)

Breakfast, lunch and snacks however…. those can be a pain for me. I KNOW I should plan them the same way I do dinner, but it just doesn’t happen. My interm step has been to create a list of ideas, and post them on the fridge. Then I give the kids a choice of 2 or 3 (depending on what we have in the house), and then go forward from there. That’s working for now, thankfully. No matter what, my rule of thumb for meals is it must have a fruit and/or veggie, and some protein along with the carb. For snacks, its a fruit and nuts, yogurt and fruit, veggies and dip and crackers, and/or a baked good (muffin, granola bar, cookies) and fruit.  Notice a theme here? I’m pretty insistant on fruits and veggies!

So, to help you with some new ideas, today I am going to share a couple of our favorites!  Enjoy.

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins! 
If you have a garden, or know of someone who does, you probably have zucchini!  Its great as a vegetable, but MAN, its good in chocolate muffin form too!  Line your muffin tins with muffin cups for easy clean up, and slightly cleaner fingers after eating. 

2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup cocoa

3/4 cup softened marg.
1 3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups VERY packed zucchini
1/2 cup milk
1 cup nuts or chocolate chips
Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately, then blend together and add chocolate chips or nuts. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Allergy or diet alert: Dairy, wheat, eggs
Use Gluten Free flour instead of wheat flour. We really like the GF flour made by HighWood Crossing
Use soy, almond,oat or rice milk instead of dairy milk.
Use egg replacer instead of eggs.



Shapes for Lunch


Sometimes its about trickery to get kids to eat something new, or something they’ve convinced themselves they don’t like. Do you have picky eaters, or reluctant veggie munchers? Challenge them to eat their shapes at lunch! Eat all the circles! Cheerios, cucumbers, deli meat roll ups, rice crackers and sliced egg.  Triangles? Cheese wedges, strawberry slices.  Squares? Crackers, toast with the crusts off. Rectangles? Cheese slices, Deli meat sliced up.

 
Allergy or diet alert: Dairy, wheat, strawberries, eggs
Use Rice Crackers instead of wheat. Use Gluten Free bread. We really like Udi Brand
Cut avocado slices into different shapes instead of cheese and/or eggs.
Use apple wedges for fruit triangles instead of strawberries.

– crackers
– cheese
– deli meats
– variety of veggies
– variety of fruits
– shape or cookie cutters

If you are looking for more ideas, check out our Pinterest Page that we’ve recently set up. We’ve got recipe ideas, crafts, decorating, play, child development, and just for YOU – easy, fun and fashionable style ideas for the busy mom/dayhome owner.

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