Sunday, January 27, 2013

what, when, where and how we eat.


i've been wanting to write this down for a while... (i'm making good on my new year's resolution of meal planning.)

i am a strong believer in the family meal. we hold on to having dinner together every night (with few exceptions). at the table. and along with that it is a properly set table. and everyone is eating the same meal. even as babes being introduced to solids they ate along with us. (loved this book.)

some years back our csa hosted a family nutrition night at our neighborhood school. my greatest take away was the philosophy of ellyn satter:

the "division of responsibility"(from toddler through adolescence) around eating is thus...

The parent is responsible for what, when, where
The child is responsible for how much and whether

It is the parent's job to choose and prepare food; provide regular meals and snacks; make eating time pleasant; model mealtime behavior and show them what they need to learn about food; not allow them to graze between meals and snack times; and let them grow up to have the bodies that are right for them.

as well, we try our best to eat 1) locally (and in turn seasonally) and 2) organic. i try to have at least one meatless meal a week (i'd like to get this to two.)

our CSA subscription (beets above) is a big part of my meal planning. along with that is a budget i try to stick to. and a goal of being as efficient as possible with the food we purchase (a whole chicken = three meals; eat what will spoil most quickly first; etc.) i work from home so most leftovers end up being my lunch. there are exceptions that i expect with some recipes. and plan for.

a look back at this past month:

Sunday: bratwurst w/ rice and collards (MSL)
Monday: roast chicken w/ roasted cauliflower, broccoli & potatoes
Tuesday: chicken handpies w/ salad (DaLS)
Wednesday: matzo ball soup
Thursday: teriyaki salmon w/ brown rice & baby bok choy
Friday: homemade pizza and chopped salad
Saturday: leftovers

Sunday: turkey meatloaf w/ mashed potatoes, spaghetti squash & kale
Monday: risotto w/ peas & bacon (DaLS)
Tuesday: crockpot beef stew
Wednesday italian sausage w/ kale (MSL)
Thursday: chicken chili (IG)
Friday: out (family event)
Saturday: out (family event)

Sunday: leftovers
Monday: ginger chicken soup with soy glazed vegetables (sunset)
Tuesday: spaghetti with turkey bolognese & spinach
Wednesday: bangers and mash w/ onion gravy and chard
Thursday: girls night out (restaurant)
Friday: homemade pizza w/ CSA salad
Saturday: 4 spice salmon w/ roasted potatoes & spinach

Sunday: shepherd's pie
Monday: breadcrumb & herb roasted cauliflower pasta
Tuesday: out (school fundraiser)
Wednesday: rosemary rubbed pork chops w/ polenta and beets
Thursday: red lentil soup
Friday: crockpot pot roast
Saturday: leftovers

i write the plan for each week right onto our calendar (yes - i still keep a paper calendar!) and prepare the shopping list based on that. i have found that the planning helps so much with the budget. no last minute trips to the store that result in picking up a few extras we didn't really need.

i do find it takes work to mix it up. and while the girls like to see some favourites in heavy rotation, d likes it best when there is a lot of variety.

so, what's your favourite dinner recipe?


house on hill road said...

your approach is great, tracy. i meal plan, too, but it's more of a three days at a time deal. some of our favorite include crock pot chicken tacos and lemon chicken (both can be found on my blog). we also try to eat fish once a week if possible. i find that anything with asian flavors goes over well with the girls.

BunkleLife said...

Great post. I can't say I'm great at planning, but I am great at making stuff that freezes - and with the cold damp weather, soups are on the menu. This minestrone is a fave, as is this , though I also add about 1/4 cup of fresh diced ginger. My fave appliances right now? Pressure cooker and hand blender. Couldn't live without them! xox

rebecca said...

i noticed the other day that my friend, ashley, had the 2013 boynton calendar on her fridge. and i thought to myself, "huh? ashley with a boynton calendar?" though i did acknowledge that it had a lot of room for filling in important info. but then it was funny to me to see that you, too, have the same sandra boynton calendar in your kitchen. don't get me wrong. i'm not one to dis sandy. i just read "blue moo" (a book of silly songs) out loud to calder only yesterday. but with so many to choose from, it struck me as a strange coincidence that two fairly non-boynton-seeming people would commit to the same "silly animals" calendar for a whole year. or do you not look at calendars as a commitment in the same way that i do? what is it with the boynton calendar?! i am going on about this for far too long. sorry. ;)

Tracy said...

thanks ladies :)
reb - you crack me up. this is my all time favourite calendar. alas it is out of print. the one in my cupboard - not on my fridge ;) - has the same family column structure that i like so much. i sense a niche we should collaborate on filling :) xo

Jennie said...

I really like your calendar idea, my mom does something similar, but on the top right corner (always in the same place) of her grocery list. I find it quite hard to plan meals at times! But try to work round our csa box generally and also nearly all vegetarian meals as I generally can't be bothered to make something meaty just for me. I do try to stick to a list, but need to be better about sticking to a particular budget! We've been doing lots of summer salads (since its that season here) with some warm elements and a poached egg, which makes everything better!

Julia said...

excellent post tracy! we've been getting back on the meal planning this year too and so far so good. we pretty much just sit down every weekend and pick out 4-5 meals for the week (counting for some leftovers, going out, or only one of us being home so maybe just snacking for dinner) and then go grocery shopping. always try to keep in mind what we already have and using that (especially staples, like grains, pasta, or canned/freezer goods). it really does help so much to not have to come up with something every single night!

petite gourmand said...

we so the same and it does help.
funny- looks like we eat almost the exact same dinners.
going to try your peanut butter cookie recipe tomorrow
looks yummy.