Menu Plan Monday, 9/27 – 10/3

Because my boys are pretty selective eaters, and I am not about to cook two dinners in a single night, I try to have at least one element in each evening meal that I know the boys will be OK with. Often, it’s pasta. For instance, I’ll make a vegetable and chicken stir fry and serve it in a separate bowl from spaghetti. I encourage the kids to try what I’ve made, and increasingly A. does (and even likes it, sometimes). But even if they don’t eat the bulk of the meal, there is something on the table they’ll accept.

G. is still very self-limited in what he’ll eat, though I see glimmers of this improving (he has tried new types of noodles and chicken at a Japanese restaurant, for example, and tried cherry tomatoes out of our garden). He also makes other choices that show me he does think about what he’s eating and drinking. Like this morning, when he told me he decided he likes water more than juice, and I should just pack water for both snack and lunch from now on. Well, OK then. Happy to oblige.

In the past, serving a roll with dinner was enough to appease the kids if they didn’t want to eat anything else I’d cooked. But lately, it is upsetting G. to not have more than one thing on the table that he’s comfortable with. Last night, for instance, I served French rolls (pre-made, just bake from frozen) and Slow Cooker Vegetable Barley Soup. I thought it was unlikely they’d eat the soup (though A. did try it when he saw J. enjoying it for dinner), but would be fine with the bread.

Although they did ultimately eat the rolls, G. was incredulous that I’d prepared rolls and ONLY soup. “And what else?” he kept asking. The poor kid was hungry and tired after a long day of kindergarten and a baseball class. I explained that I can’t make pasta every single night, but he was still worked up about it. I convinced him to make a list of dinners I can cook that he will eat, so that we could avoid another meltdown. This is the list of things he said he likes when I “cook” in the house: plain pasta, Annie’s mac and cheese, plain bagels with melted mozzarella cheese, homemade pizza, roasted chicken, Baked Ziti, and pancakes (when we have breakfast for dinner). He said my Chicken Soup is off the list, he doesn’t like it anymore.

With that discussion in mind, I felt compelled to make roasted chicken for dinner tonight. He ate it happily, plus a challah roll. But he didn’t touch the green beans (A. actually asks for them now) or the butternut squash.

Monday: Slow Cooker Vegetable Barley Soup, French rolls

Tuesday: Roasted chicken, roasted butternut squash, steamed green beans, challah rolls

Wednesday: Leftover chicken, broccoli rabe sauteed in garlic and oil, egg noodles

Thursday: Out to dinner

Friday: Out to dinner

Saturday: Roasted Squash & Goat Cheese Pasta Salad, whole wheat rolls, garden salad

Sunday: Chana Masala, basmati rice, naan, green veg

For more menu planning ideas, check out Laura at Organizing Junkie, and Jenna, who sponsors Mindful Menus, a menu-planning meme that aims “to inspire health through real food” at Chive Talkin’.

5 thoughts on “Menu Plan Monday, 9/27 – 10/3

  1. I love that he made a list! Roast chicken is always a hit here, too. I, too try to incorporate what my kids like into dinner. I love that you are out to dinner twice. Do you still prep a meal for the kids when you go out? I find that M-F I will prep a meal but on S I will order something or go frozen for them.

    It totally depends on what the kids are doing. This time they’re going out to eat with grandparents one night, and then at other grandparents the next, so no work for me! Usually I default to Annie’s mac and cheese if the adults are eating out but not the boys. — Dara

  2. i know what broccoli rabe looks like, but haven’t tried it – does it taste similar to broccoli or radically different?

    It tastes like broccoli, but is definitely a stronger, slightly bitter (sharp) taste. More similar to a green like arugula or swiss chard than to broccoli, I think. — Dara

  3. Had i known roasted chicken was on the menu for tonight, we would have stopped by for dinner. 😉

    We had plenty… you’re always welcome! — Dara

  4. Oh man, my 5 yo seems to be squarely in this camp. He has become increasingly finicky to the point that one-time favorites – such as steamed broccoli – now elicit whines and wimpers. I’ve started letting him take a yogurt cup or cheese sitck out of the fridge if he just won’t eat anything else. I worry about starting bad habits, but I also worry about him having a hungry tummy. I’m guessing your kindergartner isn’t gonna be thrilled about Indian night — you can gladly send me the left-overs 😉

    I don’t offer yogurt, and 95% of the time they just eat what’s served (or part of it). If he asks for yogurt or applesauce instead of the entree (2 items he knows are actual food and are OK in my book as a sub) then I don’t say no. But he has to help himself to it, I’m not going to get it for him. He is going to hate me for Indian night, but I will have a dear friend visiting and I want to cook it for her, and also my husband likes it! — Dara

  5. This sounds exactly like N. Only if I ask him what he wants for dinner the answer is usually “nothing”. I can’t believe that a child of mine can have no interest in food! Luckily, so far the baby is an eating machine. We’ll see if that lasts!

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