WhereParentsTalk.com is proud to announce our participation in Nutrition Month by tracking one family’s mission to eat healthier meals at home. We will update on their journey every week along with expert feedback on the concrete steps they are taking towards achieving their goal.
I cook out of necessity, not because I enjoy it. I find it time consuming and messy – and I’m not confident in my skills in the kitchen. Don’t get me wrong, I can follow a recipe but they never seem to come out looking Instagram worthy, which leads me to believe that I’m just not a great cook. I thought that the 100 Meal Challenge would be a great opportunity to work on boosting my confidence in the kitchen and to ensure my family was well fed all month long (and beyond!).
Week one has been great and being organized early on made meals a no-brainer. Registered Dietitian, Amanda Lapidus, came over to discuss my family’s medical concerns, allergies, likes and dislikes and came up with a meal plan tailored to our needs. She showed me how to use the meal plan to guide my grocery shopping, which helped me avoid buying unnecessary items at the grocery store (translation: cookies and chips). I made healthier choices and only spent money on necessities, which meant a lot less waste and the gratification of seeing everything in my fridge turn in to meals.
DIETITIAN TIP: Make a weekly meal plan whether cooking for one person or a large family. Meal planning is essential!
BENEFITS OF MEAL PLANNING
- Saves Money
- Avoid impulse purchases
- Meal plan around supermarket specials
- Less money spent on restaurant food
- Using ingredients in multiple recipes to avoid food waste
- Save time
- Less visits to the grocery store because you buy all of your groceries for the week in one visit
- Can cook large batches to freeze for later dates or to eat multiple days in a week
- Improves efficiency
- Meal plan serves as a reminder on what to pre-chop to make cooking on busier days easier
- Improves overall nutrition by planning overall balanced meals and variety throughout the week
Nutrition Month officially started on Tuesday, so it’s been a short week but here is what I can say about the meals so far:
Tuesday: Lemon Chicken Stew (Recipe: Here)
Ross & Corey’s Rating: Delicious, fast, easy and flavourful.
Edie’s Rating: This was dinner for Edie on Wednesday night and Edie was not a big fan, opted for kidney beans and cheese. Sometimes moms just have to go with the flow!
Corey’s Tip 1: We love lemon so I added a bit more than the recipe called for.
Corey’s Tip 2: Chopping everything Monday night once Edie was asleep made making dinner Tuesday night much easier.
Dietitian Tip: Use low sodium chicken broth and add salt to taste but go light with the shaker.
Wednesday: Slow Cooker Taco Chili
Ross & Corey’s Rating: Easy and flavourful – toss the ingredients in, push a button and come home to a warm fresh meal.
Edie’s Rating: Edie ate a few pieces of chicken. A win in this household for sure!
Corey’s Tip 1: I LOVE my slow cooker. Get one. The end.
Corey’s Tip 2: Add toppings. We used sour cream, shredded cheddar, avocado and a few crushed tortilla chips to add extra crunch and flavor.
Dietitian Tip: I couldn’t agree with Corey more. Slow cookers are great. Experiment with different recipes until you find ones that work for you. Make sure to use slow cooker specific recipes.
Thursday: Asian Salmon
Ross and Corey’s Rating: Slightly dry (because I overcooked it, oops!), sauce was flavourful and recipe had potential.
Edie’s Rating: Stay tuned… it’s dinner tonight (fingers crossed).
Corey’s Tip 1: Don’t overcook the salmon!
Corey’s Tip 2: Keep the extra sauce, warm it up and drizzle it over the fish when serving. I think a sauce would’ve been a great addition.
Dietitian Tip: It’s important to get to know your appliances, especially ovens. Be open to experimenting. Meat thermometers can come in very handy!
Week one was a success. We ate well, had leftovers for lunch and we have leftovers in the freezer. Looking forward to week two! I hope you join me in your kitchen next week – thanks for following along.