menu planning

Added on: Sunday, January 24th, 2010

I’m sad to say that with the advent of yoyomama and yoyobelly I just don’t get to focus as much time here as I would  like to! But as I was working on our weekly menu plan as the girls played their weird (as in oddly creative) hybrid Mary Poppins/Cinderella game this morning and my DH was enjoying a bit of a sleep in, I thought why not share it here. After all, making the grocery list is easy once you’ve got the meals planned out.  So here it goes, and I hope to do this weekly from now on in hopes of saving someone else a little time. Admittedly this takes into account planning around all our different schedules and days we have more time to cook (or not), our spud delivery and more.

And just so you don’t wonder what kind of children I have and why they eat this variety of food, I have shared or predicted what they will eat. I do live in hope that continually exposing them to new foods will eventually expand their palates.

Sunday: Parmesan Chicken from Whining & Dining. Here are a few of their other recipes, alas I can’t find their Parmesan Chicken one online. We had it with roast potatoes and broccoli. And all the kids ate was broccoli and roast potatoes.

Monday: Baked ham with scalloped potatoes made in the slow cooker thanks to Canadian Living: The Slow Cooker Collection which we’re using all the time these days. I haven’t made this recipe before but ham and cheesy potatoes sounds so good. I just bake the ham and baste it with a mix of Orange Juice, brown sugar and mustard. I’m seriously in love with our slow cooker these days and using it all the time. L will eat ham and will try the potatoes. M, I’m not sure. Broccoli probably. Hmm…I’d better lay on some bread and olive oil for her, which are, after hummus, her fave default.

Tuesday: Whole Wheat Quesadillas with Mushrooms and Guacamole. I have a wicked guacamole recipe in the book (in includes yogurt and tomatoes) and I found this recipe in a magazine. M will eat plan cheese quesadillas with hummus and L will eat mushroom quesadillas with cut up avocado. No guac.

Wednesday: Pork Tenderloin (seriously the easiest meal to make EVER!) with roasted potatoes and green beans. Basically you marinade the pork for about an hour in a mix of balsamic vinegar, mustard and honey, cook it for about half an hour and then make a gravy or reduction. So yummy. M will eat roast potatoes and green beans. L will eat pork. And that’s it.

** update: here’s the pork tenderloin recipe from my mum:

  • 1 TBSP each Honey, Grainy Mustard, Balsamic Vinegar & Olive Oil
  • 1 small clove of garlic, crushed
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  1. Rub all over tenderloin and put in fridge for at least two hours or all day. Turn once or twice if you remember (editor’s note: I never remember & just baste it before I put it in the oven)
  2. Roast in 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes, turn at least once. Time will depend on size of tenderloin (editor’s note:  I rely solely upon my meat thermometer set at medium for pork to tell me when it’s done, not being a fan of rare pork.)

Thursday: Halibut with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette. Love this recipe and just rediscovered it when I was trying to find an apple pancake recipe for breakfast today. Best of all it’s from Epicurious so I can share it with you! I always forget how much easier it is to just make fish straight up rather than fiddling about with a recipe like Halibut Pot Pie, although HPP is so delicious! We’ll have it with rice and green beans and I know the girls will eat rice. And maybe green beans. Next week I’ll include more of their fave recipes just so you don’t think my kids exist on carbs and veggies…

Friday: Boeuf Bourguinon, again from the Canadian Living Slow Cooker Collection but this time I found the recipe online in case you want to check it out. I haven’t tried it before but I watched Julie & Julia last night so I’m inspired. I’m going to try it with parsley buttered noodles like the blogger suggests (that’s my one beef about the collection, they don’t often offer up what sides and starches to serve meals with which I find very helpful, specially if I haven’t made something before). As for the kids. Well I know they’ll eat buttered noodles. I hope.

What We’re Eating Now

Added on: Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Because we’ve spent many a day testing the recipes in Healthy Mum, we often take a break from it before dipping back into it to rediscover family favourites. We just recently cracked it open again when our eldest chose Pollo Salsa Verde as her dinner of the week, and now we’re munching on our favourite Blueberry Lemon muffins which are perfect for snacks or breakfasts on the go, Pollo and Broccoli and Orecchiette. Lots of comfort food with all the snow we’re having!

To help offset picky eating while still maintaining some variety in our meals each week we ask each girl what they’d like for dinner in the upcoming week and they each get to pick a meal. M varies between Pollo and Broccoli and Orecchiette, while L invariably chooses cheese toast.

Meals for Mums

Added on: Sunday, April 27th, 2008

So, the whole premise behind Healthy Mum, Happy Baby is to make it easier to cook and eat well when you have a new baby. The team behind Meals for Mums, however, has taken that one step farther. They deliver healthy, home cooked, ready to heat and eat meals right to your door. Their food is great – it really is healthy, but not that kind of “I’m-eating-this-because-I-know-it’s-good-for-me-but-it-tastes-awful” healthy way, but actually yummy healthy.

They offer meals for adults, kids, snacks and light meals. So far our favourite is their Coconut Chicken Bowl – and we want to try lots of new treats from their spring menu.

Their meals are all fresh – which makes it hard to stock your freezer for an upcoming arrival – but many of them can be frozen, and when they deliver once a week, suddenly stocking your freezer is less urgent!

Currently they only deliver in Vancouver, but rumour has it their food will be available to a wider audience soon.

We’re in favour of anything that makes healthy eating easier for mums – we figure a copy of Healthy Mum and a gift certificate to Meals for Mums would be the ultimate shower gift, but then we’re a little biased…

Meals for Mums:

How does your garden grow?

Added on: Monday, February 18th, 2008

I have been a bad, bad, blogger and ironically there’s a lot I want to blog about, but for now this great article on getting your garden growing and getting your kids keen on their veggies will have to suffice: Crops your children will grow to love

we’ll wait and sea

Added on: Friday, October 5th, 2007

Well, after not posting for ages there’s so much nutrition stuff going on this week that I’m all in a lather.

I heard this on the news last night and wanted to follow up and then I saw it on Treehugger, so wanted to share: Debate Over Seafood and Pregnancy Rages On .

A well-respected coalition of scientists from private groups and federal agencies are saying that  pregnant and breast-feeding women should eat at least 12 oz of fish and seafood weekly for their baby’s optimal brain development.

However, the US government still recommends that pregnant and breastfeeding women eat no more than 12 oz per week as mercury contamination is an issue. Health Canada’s recommendations seem to revolve more around tinned tuna than fish in general, but all in all I’m stumped. Between conflicting info on Vitamin D and Seafoood who’s to know what to do? All I know for sure is I didn’t take enough Vitamin  D or eat enough Seafood (given these new recommendations) while pregnant and nursing, so for those of us past the stage of being able to help our babies develop it’s a bit depressing. Mind you, all you can do is what you know that the time.  I’m going to see if I can track down a dietitian and see if I can get more info…

Here’s more info:

More d-tails

Added on: Thursday, October 4th, 2007

Well, now the Canadian Paediatric Society is recommending that women who are pregnant and nursing take 2000 IU of Vitamin D daily.  And even that may not be enough to ensure that babies are protected against an increased risk of asthma, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, multiple sclerosis, dental malformation and inflammatory bowel disease – all of which have been linked to Vitamin D deficiencies early in life.

And the Canadian Cancer Society is recommending that adults take 1,000 IU of Vitamin D daily, as it can help lower your risk of several types of cancer including breast, lung and colon.

So let all the preggo & breastfeeding women you know know…

So while I have been following the recommendations from Health Canada I’m starting to wonder. I think I’ll find a nutritionist and do a piece on it for yoyomama (and add all the details here as well of course!)


Added on: Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

Vitamin D crops up in health news almost daily right now.

Not only does it cut your cancer risk, but it increases your longevity and it helps prevents osteoporosis. CBC recently has done some indepth coverage of Vitamin D which notes that “The recommended daily allowance of vitamin D in Canada is 200 IU for the general population and 400 IU for people 50 and older. Some health authorities suggest that this amount is too low, saying that as much as 2,000 units a day is safe.” The article concludes “The U.S.-based Institute of Medicine of the National Academies has set 2,000 IU of vitamin D as the daily maximum tolerable amount. Health Canada warns exceeding this limit could lead to an overdose that can cause kidney stones as well as damage to the heart, lungs and blood vessels.”

So obviously Health Canada needs to look at their recommendations, and this month they are, and when they’re updated I’ll update the info here as well.

And while I believe in trying to get most of your nutrients from your diet, I am tempted to start supplementing with Vitamin D and am wondering if the kids should be too. I’ll have to do some research and get back to you.

School suppers

Added on: Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

I’m an avid Epicurious fan. It started when we used to get boxes of organic veggies and I’d be faced with a sunchoke and no idea how to cook it. All I had to do was plug in sunchoke to their search box and something would come up.

Today I found a great section on their site with tons of info on back to school eating. Everything from nutritional lunches to fast dinners: School Days @ Epicurious. It also has healthy snack ideas, nut butter alternatives (which is key for us with M being allergic to nuts) and my personal favourite section – leftovers for lunch, which I espouse in the book. Why prepare two meals when you can prepare one and not bother having to make sandwiches, instead just pop something yummy in the microwave.

Plus Ideal Bite has some good info on why organics are good for little ones, with some organic snacking suggestions: Organic Snacks.

Cooking for kids

Added on: Saturday, August 11th, 2007

At long last, here’s my follow up to the post on cooking with kids, with a great selection of books from Barbara Jo’s Books to Cooks on cooking for kids:

Whining & Dining: Mealtime Survival for Picky Eaters and the Families Who Love Them by Emma Waverman and Eshun Mott – more than one family I know is starting to rely on this book. We’ve tried the custard (yum), the corn fritters (bland and the kids wouldn’t touch them, which I was surprised by because really it should be hard to go wrong with pancakes and corn, two kid-friendly foods), the pad thai noodles (all but my super-picky preschooler loved them) and the teriyaki salmon (as with pad thai, an almost all the family favourite). There are some good tips on dealing with picky eaters as well, definitely worth looking into if you’ve got some picky eating issues.

The Kid-Friendly Food Allergy Cookbook by Leslie Hammond and Lynne Marie Rominger, with over 150 recipes that are Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut Free, Egg Free, and Low in Sugar. If you’re faced with cooking for a child with allergies (like we are – our oldest has a nut allergy, and our youngest a soy sensistivity) then this will be a great resource.

Nora’s Dinners by Nora Sands (the lunch lady on Jamie Oliver’s program on school lunches in the UK) – this British book uses metric weights for most of its measures, but if you’re used to cooking the British way this book purports to inspire seven – 12-year0olds to cook healthy food, and teaches them basic cooking skills with a focus on fun.

If you’d like a cosmopolitan child who’s at home with the varied flavours of the multicultural food, you may want to check out Food Adventures: Introducing Your Child to Flavours from Around the World by Elisabeth Luard and Frances Boswell. Plus you’ll find out what the Greek equivalent of mashed bananas is and get some great ideas.

If you are interested in Socially Conscious Consumption and would like to be part of group I’m hoping to create through Healthy Mum, Happy Baby that looks a socially conscious family eating, email me!


Added on: Thursday, July 19th, 2007

GastropodGastrokid is a blog devoted to kids and eating in a witty, informative way, rather than a “my child loves arugula” way. Their most current post references the chef of one of my most used cookbooks, (see previous post) Mark Bittman with his recipes for quick & easy meals, how can that not be enticing? Check out their recipe for cupcakes using my favourite, Green & Black’s organic chocolate. If you’re into kids and eating you’ll want to cruise around Gastropod or add it to your RSS feed.