One of the things I hear all of the time as a health and fitness coach is “But what will I feed my family? I don’t want to make them eat what I am eating all the time…”
This has been especially true since the release of the 21 Day Fix. While following the program, you are learning HOW to eat. There are very specific things you can and cannot have, and it can be difficult to incorporate that into your family life, especially if you have picky kids. That is something I have struggled with as well.
I homeschool so I am with my kids 24/7. And that means they eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack with me every day. Even if I wasn’t trying to follow a specific meal plan like the 21 Day Fix, preparing all those meals for three different picky children can be exhausting.
So a while back, I came up with a plan. I created a weekly meal plan for them, using healthy foods that they like (and are pretty easy to prepare from scratch). All of their breakfasts, lunches and snacks during the week are preplanned, and they are the same every week. In the morning, when they wake up, I tell them what the meals are for the day.
This actually saves me a ton of time and stress. I do make everything from scratch so I know what goes into it, but I make it up ahead of time because I already know what we will eat. There is no arguing with my kids about what to eat, or thinking about it, or changing your mind. I’ve included all their favorites on the menu, and things the don’t like as well. So now I know what they are eating for every meal… That means I can plan my food schedule without having to worry about if they will like it or eat it.
Here is an example of what the kids weekly menu looks like:
You can download a blank copy of my Weekly Menu Plan here and plan your own weekly menu!
You may have noticed that the dinners are blank… as you can see above, I print this form off and put it in a plastic sleeve in our kitchen organization center, then I reuse it every week. I have already filled in the things that don’t change, but I leave our family meals blank so I can write them in. I’m not a short order cook, so the family eats whatever I make for dinner… so if I’m following the Ultimate Reset or the 21 Day Fix, everyone else is following that at dinner time as well. If they don’t like it, at least I know they ate during the day.
It’s nice because I can also customize this to my life. You’ll notice we go out to eat twice a week, every week. On Thursdays, we have a homeschool group, so I scheduled food that is quick and easy to pack for lunch.
As a side note, I will say that for years, people have told me that if kids are hungry enough, they will eat whatever you put in front of them. I’m not saying that’s not true, but I know from my personal experience, it hasn’t worked that way. My children are stubborn and they will choose not to eat for three days before they will try something they don’t want to. So for me, this is a great compromise. They are exposed to new foods at dinner, but the have enough healthy foods during the day that I know they aren’t starving if they choose not to eat what we are having.
So that’s my solution for healthy eating with kids. For my family, this has been one of the best things I have implemented and I hope it helps you!