Omaha Mama's picture Omaha Mama

How fun! I know what you mean about the need to be spontaneous. I try not to use too much of the boxed stuff either...but it definitely makes its way into busy weeks around here. We went out last night because we needed something special too, it was a hard week and even the grown ups in the house were on the verge of tantrums!

*I still think you could make squid dogs. :0) You'd just need to make them with soy dogs or veggie dogs or whatever non-meat weiners you use!

Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

Oh, we definitely turn to prepared foods when times get tough--for us it's frozen pizza, or veggie burgers!

I think T. would love those squid dogs...L. would be way too grossed out!

mouse's picture mouse

I just read an article about that year's worth of meal planning and had a similar reaction to you. While we do eat meat at our house and even buy on sale and freeze in smaller portions, we also try not to end up with too much extra. And I have to wonder about the veggie side of things--the meal the article described had corn and onion rings as the sides, both very starchy.

We've been trying to do more meal planning, but always with some flexibility. I'm happy to shift things around if something comes up or there's a sudden craving. We keep frozen vegetables on hand for sides and some boxed dishes like rice (but I've found some healthier alternatives to sodium- and chemical-laden versions).

And now I'm going to do some research into various dates and see if I can get new foods into a certain person that way.

Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

I try hard to do some meal-planning, too. It's hard to strike a balance. On the one hand, when we don't meal plan, we spend too much grocery money. On the other hand, it's hard for me to meal plan too much because it goes against the way I like to cook and prepare food. The other issue, which you know all too well at your own house, I'm sure, is dealing with a "picky" eater (or "non-eater" as call L.m since his food issues transcend pickiness).

I think you can be smart about quick meal solutions without making unhealthy alternatives part of the menu. The problem is that it's so easy in our society to reach for the unhealthy shortcuts..!