This is the journal I am keeping about our “health(ier) eating boot camp.” Feel free to read along! I have underlined things that I specifically want to remember for future meals and meal planning.
Saturday, June 28 (Shopping)
We went shopping today for the menu I just planned. It has been awhile since I have shopped for a full week of groceries at once, so it felt like a lot to buy. And there were a lot more fresh fruits and vegetables than usual. It felt like we were in the produce section forever!! Luckily, it is summer so everything looks really fresh. I had the kids all help by giving them assignments to find this or that produce item. It was good for them to see where different foods are placed in the store and to be able to practice choosing the freshest looking one.
It took awhile to figure out how to fit it all into the refrigerator, but I succeeded and told myself that the way to clear out some space is to simply eat what we bought! I did fail to take into account some peppers and onions that we have leftover and need to eat, so I may chop them up and put them into the freezer.
As part of lunch today I pulled out some leftover vegetables that I had chopped last night. I had taken a veggie tray to an activity at Church, and had chopped some extra for us. There were sugar snap peas, broccoli, carrots, and red & yellow bell peppers (all raw, of course!). So I put them on the table and told my kids I wanted them each to eat 15 pieces. It was so interesting to see them approach this (since usually I only serve one option at a time). First they all fought over the sugar-snap peas (mental note here: buy more sugar snap peas!). Then my son chose broccoli, my oldest daughter chose the carrots, and the youngest chose the bell peppers. So they do like vegetables…just not the same ones!
Sunday, June 29 (Day 1)
We got home from church and all the kids wanted to eat the moment we walked in the door. “What is for lunch?” they said. “Is it written on the menu?” Well…no, not exactly. I had to confess that after all the time I spent, I had no menu for today. That’s when it occurred to me that having the leftover day right after the grocery shopping trip was a really bad idea. There was so much food, but most of it is “claimed” for another meal already! Normally I wouldn’t have planned it this way — it’s just how the timing of everything worked out. But now I know to make sure it doesn’t happen next week by planning “leftover day” to be the day right before I go shopping.
So we had “pigs n’ a blanket” for lunch today instead of next Thursday because they were the fastest thing I could think of. We’ll just do something else in their place when Thursday rolls around. So that’s the next thing I should take note of when menu planning: choose something super fast for Sundays after church!
While we ate I introduced “the rules” to the kids. They weren’t even fazed by them since I’m constantly presenting new ways that I want to approach our meals and chores. Actually these rules should not be too painful. The only one they really reacted to was the one that I added to the list myself — “no one leaves the kitchen until it is completely clean (or until Mom excuses you).” They didn’t like that one at all, but we (I mean, “I”) really need it.