MEAL PLAN UNIVERSITY: LESSON 3- Family Food Ideas & Recipe Share
Feeding a family can be a difficult task. Each person has their own likes/dislikes and if your kids are like mine- they aren’t afraid to tell you about it! Luckily I’ve been blessed with a husband that isn’t picky whatsoever, but I know not every spouse is that way! So, how do you plan and make healthy meals for your entire family??
Honestly, I don’t think there is one right answer! There’s a variety of things you can do, but I think it’s up to how you want to run your household and what works best for you!
Here’s a few ideas on how to “execute” meal planning and meal time with your family..Basically you’ll learn to “think like a restaurant” without having to be the short order cook! →
1. INTERVIEW YOUR FAMILY- What does your family like to eat? What are their favorite meals? Find out before you meal plan so that everyone can be a part of it and so that you have food on hand that they enjoy.
2. MAKE YOUR MEALS FLEXIBLE- Growing up my mom always had dinners that were fairly flexible. We never “had to have” exactly what was made. If she made tacos but I wanted a quesadilla or a taco salad- I could make that instead. If she made spaghetti but I only wanted noodles that was fine. Making meals with several components or sides that you know most people in your family will eat is key. Then there’s something for everyone. Right now for me that means always having some sort of bread or noodle that my picky eater will eat. Then we encourage him to try other components of the meal too.
3. DO YOUR MEALS BUFFET STYLE- This goes along with flexibility, but making a balanced meal with a protein, carb, healthy fats, veggies and then laying out the options on the counter can be a great way to please everyone. Especially if you have picky eaters that don’t like their food to touch. Some meals it can be tricky to cook components differently, but a lot of family style recipes can easily be made this way. (think tacos, pasta bar, potato bar, sandwiches, paninis, salads, hawaiian haystacks….)
4. MAKE LEFTOVERS AN OPTION- This might not fly in some households, but in my house if you don’t want what’s being served for dinner then leftovers are an option. I won’t be a short order cook, but if there’s something in the fridge you can make quickly and have ready in time to sit with the family then that’s fine by me.
5. BREATHE- Yep. Breathe. You’re not always going to please everyone. And chances are that when you swap the sour cream out for greek yogurt SOMEONE will notice and pitch a fit. But that’s okay. Just do your best to make small changes and encourage healthy habits in your family. This can even start with eating together at least once/day, cooking together, teaching your family portion control, and talking about healthy food while cooking/eating. And guys, I always keep chicken nuggets and mac n cheese around. Absolutely nothing wrong with that, in my opinion ;). Just do YOUR best, and always be trying to improve. Striving, that’s my motto :).
ASSIGNMENT: Interview your family and see which meals they would like you to cook this next month. Ask what their favorite meals and snacks are. This will help you in the next lesson when we start meal planning!
Here’s my a few of my family’s favorite “cleaned up, healthier” recipes:
Best Ever Blueberry Muffins: http://www.leadhappiness.com/blog/best-ever-oatmeal-blueberry-muffins
Flatbread Pizza: http://www.leadhappiness.com/blog/bbq-chicken-flatbread-pizza
Salsa Chicken: http://www.leadhappiness.com/blog/salsa-chicken-salad
Homemade Ranch Dressing: http://www.leadhappiness.com/blog/protein-packed-ranch
Chicken, Rice, & Bean Soup: http://www.leadhappiness.com/blog/21-day-fix-chicken-rice-and-bean-soup
Monster Balls: http://www.leadhappiness.com/blog/monster-no-bake-cookies
Bodey’s Chocolate Cake: http://www.leadhappiness.com/blog/simple-clean-chocolate-cake
Peach Cobbler: http://www.leadhappiness.com/blog/healthy-dutch-oven-peach-cobbler
Peach Ice Cream: http://www.leadhappiness.com/blog/peach-ice-cream
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread: http://www.leadhappiness.com/blog/pumpkin-chocolate-chip-bread
Make sure to email me, firstname.lastname@example.org, or message me on Facebook (Breezie Bitter) with any questions you have!!
LESSON 1- Healthy Eating 101
LESSON 2- Money Saving Tips
LESSON 3- Family Food Ideas
LESSON 4- Meal Planning
LESSON 5- Shopping
LESSON 6- Meal Prepping
LESSON 7- Sticking to the plan
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