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FITKIZ's Photo FITKIZ Posts: 748
11/23/11 1:06 P

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I found that with my picky kids (9 and 3 - the youngest is too little to help yet) that engaging them in the kitchen makes them more willing to try something. Dinner is dinner, however, no substitutions, no snacking after dinner, and I only make one meal for the family. I might be the household chef, but I'm not a short order cook. If the kids don't like it, they don't have to finish it, but they know that there isn't anything else until breakfast. I try to be flexible and include suggestions from everyone, I'm currently trying to make over some of the least healthy requests I get so that everyone can have what they love and still get a great meal. I hide veggies everywhere, too. What they can't see they won't complain about...

Only you can.


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NIXY72's Photo NIXY72 SparkPoints: (18,492)
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9/20/11 7:03 P

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Personally, I'm a creative soul & hobby-chef so meal planning goes very much against my grain. However, I have gotten extremely good at keeping a very well-stocked pantry and deep freezer filled with healthy ingredients so I can easily whip up a great recipe and not have to worry about running to the store last minute or not having anything in the house and have to resort to something less healthy.

If meal planning works for you, great! If not, just make sure to have enough healthy ingredients on hand that you can throw together something amazing! And if you're not sure, which way to go, find a couple great recipes you want to try per week and make sure to purchase those ingredients!

Good luck everyone!

"Argue for your limitations and sure enough they're yours."
Richard Bach

"Never give up. Never Surrender."
Galaxy Quest

"Life is always walking up to us and saying, "Come on in, the living's fine," and what do we do? Back off and take its picture."
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LAETU5's Photo LAETU5 Posts: 1,405
9/7/11 6:54 P

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I'm finding it overwhelming too (for some reason it affects me in the same way as realizing I have a lot of house cleaning to do)...so I think I'm going to start out with planning 1 or two meals a week and continue my old way of just having healthy options in the kitchen that I can throw together. Once planning two meals is easy I'll plan more of the week.

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CLAIRE_LEFT_SP's Photo CLAIRE_LEFT_SP Posts: 2,802
9/7/11 3:48 P

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The gain of meal planning is less impulsive purchases at the grocery store - and less emotional eating at home. It is difficult to plan every single meal and snack so I simplify the process. I eat the same breakfast every day and nearly the same lunch. My snacks are always a serving of salt-free mini pretzels in the AM and some fruit in the PM. That leaves just dinner to actually plan out.



Claire
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Those who think they have no time for a healthy lifestyle will sooner or later will have to find time for illness.
FOXXEE's Photo FOXXEE Posts: 46
9/7/11 2:02 P

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I could never understand the meal planning for an entire week. My planning is day-by-day. I go with what time frame I have, what's available in the fridge and freezer, and how quickly it needs to be made. I wish I had time to plan for entire week plus my family's tastes aren't the same as mine. Forget making turkey burgers for the entire family as I would be the only one who eats it no matter how tasty I try to make it. So, I do not know what to tell you other than start with the day-by-day and work your way up from there. I have my dinner planned for today. I have boneless chicken in the freezer which I'll make breaded chicken parmesan and for the side a dish made with zucchini and cabbage. I suppose Knorr Rice will do for the other side.

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CLAIRE_LEFT_SP's Photo CLAIRE_LEFT_SP Posts: 2,802
9/5/11 6:04 P

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I get very frustrated as well. My schedule is always changing. So, I plan 3 or 4 meals a week and then I use some of my 'hot standby' meals for the other days.

I keep packages of frozen stir fry vegetables. I can just defrost some animal protein and Wah Lah! I have a meal. I pre-make rice and freeze it in portion sizes so I can pop it in the microwave. Whenever I make a slow cook meal (at least once a week) I have enough leftovers for at least one meal. I cover pork chops or chicken pieces with herbs/spices and bake in my toaster oven (which cooks food faster than in the oven). Buy minced garlic in jars so it's quick to add to any dish.

I've found that the biggest issue is what protein you can put together quickly. It's easy to reach in the freezer for any vegetables.

Good luck!




Claire
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Those who think they have no time for a healthy lifestyle will sooner or later will have to find time for illness.
BSWALLOW1's Photo BSWALLOW1 SparkPoints: (3,467)
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9/2/11 11:20 A

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I agree with Willowcat1. 1 or 2 days is a fine start. Just stick with that until you feel ready to add on something more. There's nothing like success to motivate more success.

WILLOWCAT1's Photo WILLOWCAT1 SparkPoints: (13,642)
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9/2/11 12:17 A

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If you find you can get in a day or 2, it is a GREAT place to start!!! Any improvement is improvement, yes??? Don't put too much pressure on, it only causes stress and icky feelings (in my opinion and experience). Start where you are! One or 2 changes quickly add up.

Keep Sparking! :)

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EARTHMOM39 SparkPoints: (5,684)
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9/1/11 6:26 P

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When I plan my meals they are not set in stone.
If I have to switch a simple meal on a day I had planned something a little more time consuming it's OK. I at least have the stuff I need in the apt. No need to run to the store!
I plan something for each person a week, but if they don't help me cook they can't complain and they need to try a little of everything, if they still don't like they have to make the other themselves!
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NCSUE0514's Photo NCSUE0514 SparkPoints: (124,520)
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9/1/11 5:57 P

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To me, the idea of planning menus for the entire week is overwhelming. The best I can fathom doing is to plan a day or two at a time. Between hectic schedules and fussy family... is it reasonable to even try? Has anyone been successful at planning? How did you manage to do it?

Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place. - Kurt Vonnegut.

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