meal planning is the worst

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September 14, 2015 by Ellen V

Here’s the current situation, people:

  1. An extremely picky toddler, eliminating Foods She Will Eat every day.
  2. An extremely not-picky 11 month old who needs her food cut into small pieces and will eat all the good for you things that Picky Toddler will not.
  3. Two adults who enjoy well rounded meals and are often still battling the dog days of summer so avoiding casseroles and stews and other heavy things.
  4. One of those adults who is trying to steer clear of dairy and carbs (so you know it isn’t me)
  5. All four of these folks need packed lunches five days a week in addition to healthy and satisfying breakfasts and dinners at home.

I’m just not sure how to feed this family anymore!

In all seriousness, meal planning is stressful! Someone is always unhappy. Examples:

  • Pizza is a great choice in this house because Jane will eat an entire piece of pepperoni pizza (minus crust) and actually enjoy it. However, it’s too chewing for Sid, even cut up. I can give Sid pieces of crust and, if the pizza is homemade, she loves her some shredded cheese. But pepperoni? Too spicy yet. And that’s basically the only topping Jane will eat.
  • Any soup is perfect for Eric, Sidney and I. We can cook it on the stovetop so it doesn’t heat the whole house, and Sidney loves veggies and/or meat cooked in broth. But Jane won’t touch a soup. It’s grown-up-food-too-yucky-for-me. We had a potato/sausage/kale/carrot soup that was just awesome tonight, Sid ate every component and squealed for more, and Jane ate… a hot dog.

The list goes on like that. Breakfast foods make everyone happy, except Eric and I, who can’t really settle on a good breakfast food menu (I like sweet, he likes savory). Basically the only meal that everyone can get into is this beautiful beer braised carnitas recipe, and that’s basically only because I can make Jane a quesadilla and convince myself that she’s eating what we’re eating.

And don’t even get me started on the twenty minutes it takes me every morning to pack lunches. Ugh, the lunches. The lunches might kill me. I have officially stopped judging any parent who chooses to send their child to school with a Lunchable every day. I haven’t gotten there yet, check back in October.


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