Feeding My Family // No Cook Lunch

Last night I created the plan! I can’t wait to share it with you. I got to do a late night grocery shop and was so inspired. (I guess that is what happens when you don’t have four little humans hanging off of you, scurrying around your ankles, throwing groceries in and out of the cart, or asking a million questions.) When I created the plan I just used a note on my phone and put a blurb of breakfast ideas for each of the weeks. I rotated a carb and protein that is different for each week. The carbs were muffins, breakfast cookies, waffles and pancakes. The proteins I’ll rotate between sausage links and bacon; and then I always prep hard boiled eggs. For lunches I listed a few ideas but this is the category that needs the most work.

Dinner is the area where I shine. I tried to not put more than one Asian dish each week, (I could eat Japanese, Thai, Chinese etc. every night of the week!) one Mexican dish a week – I love it, but Benjamin isn’t as much of a fan – and one Italian. I also tried to think through using different meats, but also  not shooting so much for variety that we are left not using it all, trying to minimize waste. For example I’m going to make a ham with the Macaroni & Cheese this week, thanks to all those who gave input on Instagram and Facebook to help figure something out. Then I’ll use some slices for sandwiches this week and freeze some cubed leftover ham to make a lentil and ham soup later in the week. See how I did this?

I’ll share the plan here in images and will just throw out there that the plan is entirely flexible.

While the dinners are assigned to a night and have some thought put into them now if something doesn’t sound good I just pick a different dinner from that week to cook. If we accidentally use up an ingredient I need for tonight’s dinner, I scratch that or supplement something else. If we end up eating with friends I adapt or offer what I had in our plan as my contribution. I am all about the flexibility.

As for today, Cashel had a “flat egg” (fried egg) and Camper a hard boiled egg at breakfast. Both boys ate a yogurt, and applesauce pouch in the car on the way to school. Corban ate a zucchini blueberry muffin and greek yogurt and I had coffee….

For lunch I threw together a “no cook” picnic to have at the park after preschool. I keep lots of options like this in my fridge with a monthly Costco shop and if I remember to grab them on my way out it makes our lunches so much healthier. Today I packed salami, hummus, pretzel thins, carrots, grapes, and applesauce pouches. I love how many of our favorite things at Costco these days are organic and affordable! Plus my kids just love hummus so I won’t argue with that, I think that is simply because it’s all we offered them as “dip” from the moment they could eat food. I’m grateful to my oblivious self for that great choice.

Wee tip… At the end of special events like birthday parties I stack up all the extra paper plates and keep them near my picnic basket to be reused when I’m on the go with meals.

I will be sharing some more no cook options, on the go lunches, and also some yummy ideas for the days you are at home and can “do it right” so keep following along.

After a fun trip to the pumpkin patch I’ll be making this quick scratch recipe for Beef Stroganoff that I found on Pinterest and we love. I’ll serve it over egg noodles but it’s also great on rice or mashed potatoes, or for those healthy folk use brown rice, cauliflower rice, or ancient grain pasta.

Watch this video of how it turned into a family affair, and the boys decided they wanted to make mashed potatoes and noodles tonight.

 

The boys always tend to take so much more ownership of what’s on their plate, and eat more, when they were involved in the cooking process!

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