March 22, 2010

Meal Planning Monday

Update from last week—Last week I asked readers about the menus for the children’s program at church.  I am in charge of purchasing and preparing the meals each Wednesday night at our church (Faith UMC) for about 20-30 school aged children.  Last Wednesday night I talked to the volunteers and to the children about refocusing the foods to make them both kid friendly and healthy.  When I mentioned to the children that I would like to have an all vegetable meal soon, I was met with mixed reactions.  They did give me some ideas of their favorite vegetables, and the meal that I’m serving this week will be an “easing into” the new menu plan.

The adult volunteers encouraged me to not be so hard on myself.  I visited a local school’s cafeteria this week and got a feel for what kids eat in school.  From what I have heard about other school cafeterias, the one that I visited offers much healthier options than they could (no cokes present, they had a salad bar option, they offered milk, they had some fresh fruit as a food choice in the lunch line).  Since this was my very first time to ever eat in a hot meal prepared at a school cafeteria, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I’d be interested to hear what readers’ experiences at their children’s schools have been.  After I left the school, I felt a little better about what I’d been serving the kids at our program, but at the same time I was even more encouraged about a need to feed all of our children better, healthier foods.

On this same vein, our daughter’s 4 year well visit was this week.  At one point, the doctor asked me what our daughter drinks.  I said, “Water, milk, every once in a while she has juice as a special treat, if she’s sick I’ll give her some ginger tea.”  The doctor nodded, and I then joked, “Cokes, Kool-aid,” and started laughing.  She said that the sad part was how many children who are our daughter’s age are served those drinks regularly.  In addition to working on the foods that I prepare the children, I’ll also be focusing on drink options of water, watered down apple juice, and milk.

Suppers

Monday—Tacos (made with organic beef that I caught a fantastic deal on at Kroger), saffron rice, corn

TuesdayStrata and fruit

Wednesday—Children’s program at church—chicken breasts pan seared in olive oil, mashed potatoes, corn, and green beans.  Apple juice (watered down) to drink.

Thursday—Venison tenderloin, roasted butternut squash, black eyed peas, homemade whole wheat bread, and pears

Friday—Pasta with shrimp and vegetables.  I make a loose sauce by cooking the shrimp and veggies in olive oil with a touch of lemon juice.  I add a little of the starchy pasta water to the pan to deglaze as needed.  I toss the pasta, shrimp, veggies and sauce together and add some Parmesan cheese.

Saturday—Depending on amounts in the fridge, we’ll either have leftovers or I’ll pull some soup from the freezer.

Sunday—Baked potatoes with all of the fixings, unless I’m in a creative mood and then who knows what I’ll prepare! 

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