Draw Up a Weekly Menu Plan
by Esther in California
Drawing out my family’s weekly menu and preparing the meals is a joy for me. I enjoy working with my daughter while preparing some of the meals, because she always wants to help. With her participation, she’s learned to eat bell peppers, which a year back she could not eat.
I’m always careful to include all the food groups; whole grains, vegetables and fruits, protein, nuts and ensuring that we get enough iron for our brains and muscles. Previously,we used to drink lots of milk, but when I learned from the WIC articles that the calcium content in it reduces iron absorption, we considerably cut back on it. My daughter usually takes milk with her morning snack but gets water or juice after lunch.
We avoid artificially sweet foods in our diet. We’ve trained ourselves to have our drinks without sugar and we also don’t buy sweet snacks for our daughter. Thankfully, that had been our practice before she was born and she’s picked it up well. We let her eat some honey though.
My husband works Monday to Friday, so I pack his lunches and snacks to take with him. That way, he gets to eat healthy meals instead of fast foods, which also cumulatively become expensive.
Our menu for the week ideally looks like this:
Drawing out the menu ahead of time helps me save time on figuring out our grocery shopping and what meals to prepare and when.
My name is Esther. I live in Santee, CA with my husband and 4 year old daughter. I'm a stay at home mom during the day and a caregiver in the evening.
Want more ways to make meal planning easier? wichealth.org has a free online lesson called Making A Meal Plan. Find it on wichealth.org in the Planning Simple Meals and Snacks category!
*Notes from wichealth:
WIC recommends about 2 to 2 1/2 cups of dairy products per day for toddlers and preschoolers. More than that can fill kids up and make them less hungry for other nutritious foods. Too much milk can also mean kids' bodies absorb less iron.
Avoid honey for babies under 1 year old.
Popcorn and peanuts can be a choking risk for kids under age 4. Nuts are OK if finely chopped.
Read another post by Esther: Porridge Saves the Day!