Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Start of week 1: Taking the "100 Days of Real Food" Mini Pledge (14 weeks)

Still eating freezer meals made for after Shirley's birth. This is how I meal plan and do a shopping list.
We are taking the 100 Days of Real Food Mini Pledge - Cut out processed foods in 14 weeks. We have slowly worked our way here. I think this could be a success! The Elder finally agreed to join the CSA in our area and has become open to new things. Most people started on the 1st. We are running a little behind. The Elder was a little afraid to try this because he is not a big fruit or vegetable person. He mainly humors me. He is also afraid of the cost. Our grocery (food and non food) budget is $200 a week. This includes diapers for 3 children because I just don't have the energy for cloth diapers right now. Also included is dog food, cat food, kitty litter, and other non food items we need. As long as I can stay in budget (total for the month), then he will be ok with any changes I wish to make. Although now that $200 a week from December 25th-January 24th ($800) is now $159.75 a week ($639 for the month) because we joined the CSA. This will be very easy this month because I made all the freezer dinners. So almost no meat needs to be purchased weekly. I already made up the extra money spent making freezer meals in November by how little was spent in December. The cost for the CSA covered 7 weeks. So some will be taken out of next month's budget to cover half of the next 7 weeks. That is not my headache to worry about though. I am just told my weekly food budget and work with that.

There are 6 more in the small chest freezer!

Week 1: 
Eat a minimum of two different fruits or vegetables (preferably organic) with every breakfast, lunch, and dinner meal.

We got this! Well, I have this. The minions have this. The Elder... I will take 2 for lunch and 2 for dinner as a win. He refuses to have anything other than yogurt and coffee for breakfast.

I really do call him The Elder

I'm not quite sure how my picky eater will take this. Just because it is on his plate or sent with lunch does not mean he will try it. Having him pick out foods with me has not proven effective. Still, I encourage him to help me pick out fruits and help me cook.

Karl helped me pick which fruits go with which meals.

Having Karl help me with cooking hasn't worked at getting him to try things either. The only thing it has done is help him learn the basics of cooking. While that is a good thing, I would still really like it if Karl would try some more fruits and veggies. He is limited himself to strawberries, green grapes, apples, and sometimes oranges. No vegetables. Oh well, they still go on his plate!

Working on that eating better... Can't see half the fruit. Who wants to organize it for me?

One thing I have learned, if I use the bottom drawers in the fridge, we will end up with a veggie/fruit graveyard. So I took them out. It doesn't look as nice, I know. Now it is easier to see everything (kinda) and we use almost everything.

The next few weeks will be a little interesting meal wise with adding in the extra fruits or vegetables. I made over 50 freezer meals before Shirley was born. We still have about 24 or so left. So we need to keep using those.

Random picture
Clearly we still eat some pretty processed foods. Most of the time it is in moderation. I can buy 4 bags of tater tots and it may take 3-5 months to eat them all. We will work further on phasing out the bad and replacing it with non/little processed items or better choices. I have no intention of going through my pantry and tossing it. For starters, my budget couldn't handle it. Also the minions and The Elder would go into shock. I can't risk seeing a food regression with Clark (ASD).

Our meal plan for this week:

 I have poor handwriting. I know.

Sliders, chips, with green beans and a chocolate banana for desert. I blend a little onion and spinach in with the hamburger for the sliders. Not enough to count as a serving, but a little is better than none!

Spaghetti with homemade tomato sauce. Blackberries and yogurt for desert (AKA evening snack). The sauce I make and add puree of carrots, a little spinach, and some squash. Add salt. The family has yet to figure it out. They like it.

White lasagna with broccoli. The lasagna already has spinach in it. Enough to count it as a serving.

Herb chicken, corn on the cob, and green beans.

Onion tater tots covered in chili and cheese. Desert is yogurt with fruit (evening snack). My chili has squash, fresh tomatoes, and carrots all pureed in it. Then some fresh tomato diced. So yes, you can count that as 2 servings of vegetables. The minions will eat seconds of this.

Chicken stir fry and I will add some kale from the CSA box (picked up that morning)

Chicken pot pie. Growing up, my parents bought the frozen pot pies. When they were done, we took off the tops and added a large cooking spoonful of vegetables. Then we mixed it all together in the over stuffed shell. That being said, my chicken pot pie should really be called vegetable pot pie with a little chicken.

Did I stay in budget for this week?
No. I was over by almost $5. That is ok though.

Not on the list items purchased
Fresh strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. They were on sale but not in the flyer. I also picked up 2 rotisserie chickens at Sam's Club. Never go when you are going home to eat dinner. I also bought 2 packs of Mother's Tea ($10) and a 48 count pack of AA batteries to go into the toys Pa gave the minions for Christmas. I think I will need to purchase more next week. Also I purchased Babybel cheese from Sam's Club because Karl showed interest in it. This is in addition to the cheese sticks on the shopping list.

I also opted to not get the chia seeds this week and purchased real maple syrup instead.

How did breakfast go on day 2 (today)? I would say it went rather well.

I did not give the minions any butter or syrup with their banana and blueberry pancakes today. They were pleased with them. Plus they all ate another banana while I made the pancakes.

FYI, taking pictures of children while they chew their food will result in funny faces.

We do occasionally sit for breakfast. This morning was not one of those mornings.

This is my banana eating machine. Clara has had a banana every morning for 5 months. We know she is sick if she refuses to eat one. Even then, she still demands one so she can walk around with it. Here she is asking for a second banana.

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