Meal planning can be an overwhelming task for any mom. When putting the plan together you not only have the family’s crazy schedule for the week to consider, but you also have to try and stay on budget and incorporate healthy foods that your kids might actually eat. So why not get the kids involved in the process? They can’t complain about the food if they have been instrumental in deciding what ends up on their plates.
This may sound like even more work for you, but once you give the kids some basic guidelines you may be surprised by how much they enjoy it (while you sit back and do something else!). I like to stick with a food theme for each night of the week. It allows a framework to build from and you can then let the kids choose the specific meal. For example, the themes may be Asian, Mexican or Italian cuisine and they can pick a dish such as Chicken Stir Fry, Enchiladas or Lasagna. There are some ground rules that they must follow, such as half your plate must include fruits and vegetables, and the meal can’t be too labor intensive (no handmade pasta on a school night!). Allow them to be creative and look through cookbooks or blogs for ideas
This is the beginning of teaching your kids how to think about food and build a meal plan. Through this process, you are teaching your children valuable life skills and how to take care of themselves. Developing this relationship with meal planning is a skill that will walk with them for years to come. You are also creating a system for your family which will simplify your life and help you avoid being a short-order cook when the meal you selected is not a winner.
It is an exceptional strategy when dealing with picky eaters because you are giving them control over the meal. Please share your tips in the comments section for getting your child involved with meal planning.
Tomorrow we will talk about building a condiment tray to spice things up
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