Thursday, May 25, 2017

How We Eat - Part 2 of 2

How We Eat: Part 2 
The actual eating part! 


Breakfast

Adam and Aaron have cereal every morning. 
They rotate their cereal brands
but the 3 most recent have been 
Raisin Bran, Cracklin Oats, and Honey Bunches of Oats. 

Oliver has a homemade muffin every morning. 
If I'm slacking on my muffin baking, he will get YoBaby yogurt. 
As of a few weeks ago, we were alternately yogurt and prunes, 
but finally decided he needed more substance to his meals. 
Now the prunes becomes a snack. 
I've been making Superhero Muffins lately, 
which are packed with goodness!

I eat yogurt most mornings. 
My newest obsession is full-fat Fage Greek plain yogurt, 
with fresh fruit, granola, raw honey, and maybe a tablespoon of jam. 
It is crazy healthy and fills me up. 
In the winter when fresh fruit is scarce, 
I switch to broiled grapefruit with Kerrygold butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. 

Lunch

Adam takes a deli sandwich and cliff bar to work every day 
(ick, clif bars are the worst!). 

On MWF, Aaron takes lunch to preschool packed in his PlanetBox
I cannot say enough good things about PlanetBox. 
They are pricey as hell but they are easy to clean, 
good for health (no plastic containers!), 
good for the environment (no baggies!), 
and most importantly of all, they make packing absolutely a BREEZE. 

I designate each slot for a food group. 
Top left is "something crunchy" (popcorn or pretzels with peanut butter). 
Bottom left is fresh fruit.
Top right is raw vegetables. 
Bottom right is a sandwich or - very infrequently - yogurt. 
Middle is a piece of chocolate. 


(I get many ideas from BlooBalloon on IG.  Like the mini sweet peppers above)


Oliver eats leftovers from the night before. 
He doesn't seem to do well (or care for?) sandwiches
He does LOVE these Spinach & Parmesan Quinoa Bites.
If Aaron is home (Tues/Thurs), he'll join Oliver with leftovers. 


I have a salad. 
It varies greatly throughout the year. 
Currently I'm on a romaine, goat cheese, berries, caramelized walnuts (walnuts + maple syrup + cinnamon), chicken strips, and Wegman's berry vinigarette dressing. 
Out of some psychological rebellion to US parenting, 
I refuse to keep any form of nuggets or pre-cooked chicken in my house for my children, 
but I do so for my salads only. 


Dinner

I either make dinner ahead of time (i.e.: that morning)
or immediately beforehand. 

Most casseroles and pastas I make in the morning during Oliver's nap, 
and then microwave it up in the evening. 
This is necessary on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. 
Aaron has soccer 5-6 on Tues/Thurs 
and then my sister comes over to watch the kids Wednesday night 
while I have two hours of freedom to get my nails done, wax, etc

Other items like seafood and chicken dishes are best fresh, 
so I will pop the boys in front of Daniel Tiger to rush through my dinner prep. 
That's usually Monday and Friday. 
Since I shop on Mondays, I like to do seafood on Monday nights while it's fresh. 
One of my New Year Resolutions was to find a good shrimp recipe, 
and I FINALLY found Giada's "Nonna Luna's [Shrimp &] Rice" which is easy and delicious. 

An example week of dinners would look like this: 




Snacks

I have a strict "only one processed snack a day."
Processed snacks mean granola bars, crackers, or a squeeze pouch (Oliver). 

I wage a constant battle with granola bars 
because most are shit, 
and the ones that aren't shit, 
Aaron doesn't like. 
So far we've settled on Clif Z Kids, 
which still have a hefty amount of sugar (11-13 grams), 
about average to other granola bars on the market. 
Wegmans has a really healthy line of granola bars (less than 10g sugar), 
but Aaron doesn't like them. 
OF COURSE. 

Crackers, goldfish, wheat thins, Annie's bunnies, etc 
are all void of nutritional value, 
but I admit to loving crackers & cheese so I do keep basic white crackers on hand. 

Pretzels with peanut butter and raisins are my most preferred, 
and Aaron knows he can help himself to a box of raisins whenever the hunger strikes. 

Oliver has a squeeze pouch about 3-4 times a week. 
Although they are massively convenient and I always keep 2 in my bag for emergencies, 
I don't want him to become too adjusted to receiving his fruit/veggies in a puree form 
(our pediatrician warned me this happens frequently), 
so I try to limit it for the on-the-go rush. 

Generally, most of our snacks are fresh fruit. 
Everyone loves fresh fruit and it is packed with fiber. 
Summer/spring this is easy as a our fridge is overflowing with blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, mango, pineapple, cherries, etc. 
Fall is mostly apples, pears, and grapes. 
Winter is a lot of kiwi and oranges/clementines. 

(Also, if you are ever stuck on the seasonality of fruit, 
THIS GRAPHIC is the most handy and I reference it weekly) 

WHEW. 
Done. 
Did you make it to the end? 
Give yourself a pat on the back 
and share with me how you eat!



5 comments:

  1. Again, all very interesting! Thoughts:
    - I wish I liked yogurt even a little bit.
    - I wish I liked more fruit.
    - I'm glad we're not the only ones who still eat cereal, ha.
    - I really, really, really wish we could send peanut butter to school for the twins (nut free school)! I know we only have to provide breakfast, but peanut butter would be such an easy protein option to add to the rotation. Woe is me.

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  2. Interesting to read about your family's eating habits. We have very similar food philosophies and habits except for the eating out part. We need to work on not going out randomly on a week night. In terms of shopping do you ever buy foods in bulk? This has become my favorite thing ever. We have a supermarket near us that has a bulk section and a small Amish style bulk store as well. I buy most of our grains and legumes (couscous, farro, quinoa, lentils) in the bulk section. I also have found that buy spices this way is a lot less expensive and we don't have to buy a huge bottle that will go stale over a couple of years.

    My husband and I are both working right now so there's some things that we just don't have time to do like make beans from scratch instead of out of a can. We meal plan but I've learned not to stress myself out with complicated recipes on busy nights. We have a couple of quick, simple recipes like tortilla pizzas and quesadillas that work in a pinch.

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    Replies
    1. Very glad you brought up bulk! I grew up in a house where everything was bought in bulk and I carried that into my adulthood shopping until I realized that it totally doesn't work for us! Two reasons I've completely rejected buying in bulk now: 1) We don't eat that way. Our eating habits and preferences (brands, flavors, etc) change often enough that when I'd buy in bulk, I threw out a lot because we simply stopped eating whatever it was. 2) storage & expiration. Buying bulk requires storage and I like to run a minimalist kitchen. My fridge is full Monday and by Sunday I want it empty. I keep a small pantry of rotating items. The rotation ensures I don't get spoilage, which was a big problem from when I bought in bulk. you would think I spend more money but I actually spend less because I'm not throwing out expired old food we stopped eating! So while I understand it works for a lot of people (hence why Costco is in business), it doesn't work for us. :(

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    2. Oh, I think my terminology didn't translate well. I didn't mean bulk from a store like Costco. We buy the amount we need but it's purchased by weight. I bring my own containers to fill or you can use their bags. Here's an article with a picture of what I'm talking about: http://www.today.com/food/how-buy-food-bulk-save-money-grocery-store-t58971

      Whole Foods has a bulk section and I'm sure there are others at supermarkets near you.

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    3. Ah yes yes! Pardon my misunderstanding. That is outstanding! Wegmans does have that but unfortunately I don't take advantage as much as I should. That's a great idea about bringing your own containers - really cuts down on waste!

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