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.


Added on: Sunday, February 15th, 2009

When I recently discovered MealBaby and wrote about it for the first edition of yoyobelly I was thrilled. Food really is one of the best things you can give a new mum. To whit, two friends recently had babies, Nher third, H her second.

MealBabyFor N we used MailBaby. The meal registry really did make things easier. The registrants got an email asking them to sign up for a day and choose a meal. We could see what others were bringing – it really did up the competitive factor – plus it meant N didn’t get four spaghetti dinners. Her address, contact info and likes and dislikes were all laid out. N got an email each day saying who was bringing what, and we got reminder emails that we’d promised a meal too. It meant P, who arranged it all, just spent about 20 minutes organizing the info and hey presto, it was done.

For H her friend C arranged everything. Because I recently had to go without my computer for a few weeks while it was in the shop some of the emails went AWOL. I had to ask her twice to send their likes and dislikes, plus I didn’t have their address or phone # and the dates were all up in the air. I’m guessing organizing it has taken C a lot more time and backing and forthing with people.

The thing is, when you already have kids, it’s actually quite hard to make a meal for another family in the sense of finding time to make it, to take it by etc.  So anything that makes that easier has got to be good.

MealBaby probably had added appeal to me because I suggest a “food shower” in Healthy Mum, Happy Baby, so I’m already on that train anyhow. Plus I’m all for anything that saves time.

Now if they could just combine MealBaby’s registry with SpringPad’s organizational and menu tools that would be something special!

all atwitter

Added on: Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

I’ve just starting twittering for Healthy Mum, Happy Baby – it’s a great way to tweet about recipes, books or tips and tricks I find that compliment the book. Do you twitter too? You’ll find me at:

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

Healthy Canadians?

Added on: Wednesday, November 7th, 2007

Last week the Government of Canada launched a new site – Healthy Canadians – and it’s a one stop health shop, combining recall info from Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Not only can you track all food and children’s product recalls in one place, but there’s info on healthy eating, healthy pregnancy, active kids, family safety, the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit, toy safety tips and more. You can also sign up for info on food recalls and product safety news, or just rely on us to keep you posted. We are a bit worried that there are so many toy and food recalls that they need a site all of their own, but at least it’s an easy and centralized way to find the info.

Healthy Canadians:

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.

Cooking with kids

Added on: Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

As a promised follow up to my post on Grow Your Own, we went right to the source and asked the fine (and knowledgeable) folks at Barbara Jo’s Books to Cooks for their favourite books for cooking with and for kids. I’ll start with cooking with kids and post later on cooking for kids.

Kids Cook 1-2-3Mark Bittman himself (author of one of my most used and recommended cookbooks How to Cook Everything) recommends KIDS COOK 1-2-3: Recipes for Young Chefs Using Only 3 Ingredients, By Rozanne Gold, Illustrated by Sara Pinto. You can read his review of a few different kid’s cookbooks in the New York Times, you’ll need to sign up for an account, but it is free.

Kitchen Garden Cooking with Kids by Stephanie Alexander is definitely in keeping with the whole idea of getting your children interested in their food and where it comes from. Because it’s Australian it uses metric measures and temperatures, but Barbara Jo’s still recommends it because Stephanie Alexander is (and I quote) “wonderful” and the book is chock-a-block with project ideas for getting your kids interested in food, gardening, composting, etc. There’s a great website that goes along with the book that’s definitely worth checking out.

Sam Stern’s Cooking Up a Storm: The Teen Survival Cookbook by Sam and Susan Stern, this is a British book, but all the measurements and temperatures have been converted to North American standards. Now, I’ve yet to start thinking about the teen year issues, my feet are still firmly planted in toddler and preschooler survival mode. Share 14-year-old Sam Stern’s recipes, and try them yourself if you’re a teen cook or cook wannabe.

Barbara Jo’s has also created a list of great books on Socially Conscious Consumption, which includes two of my current favourites, Marion Nestle’s What to Eat and local phenom The 100 Mile Diet. I’m thinking of starting, either in tandem with Barbara Jo’s or as an offshoot of Healthy Mum, Happy Baby and yoyomama a . If that sounds interesting to you it would be great if you could comment on this post or send me an email – I’m thinking books around food and gardening and going green and eating locally that are either aimed at kids or their parents. So let me know a) if you’re interested and b) what you think the focus should be!

little green giant

Added on: Tuesday, July 10th, 2007

Did you know that breastfeeding, on top of all it’s other benefits, is sustainable and has no environmental impact? I found a great site today called TreeHugger that’s all about going green, so if that’s up your alley you’ll want to check out their ten tips for How to Green Your Baby, which includes breastfeeding.

It’s the kind of site that’ll entrap you when you start drilling down and jumping from link to link.