Weekly Meal Plan: Monday April 15th

by Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD on April 15, 2013

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It was good to get back into the routine last week after spring break. This is the final week before the launch of Fearless Feeding. Don’t miss the Chobani — 3 months of free yogurt giveaway — and the big one this Friday.

We’re starting off the week with a new twist on Shrimp tacos, moving on to my favorite easy dinners dressed up on Tuesday and a new chicken dish on Thursday.

As always, for more meal planning ideas, see Org Junkie.

What’s Cooking This Week

Monday: Chipotle Shrimp Tacos with black beans and Spanish rice

Tuesday: Ravioli with Spinach and Sun-dried Tomatoes (trying some lobster ravioli this time), salad and fruit.

Thursday: Garlic Lime Chicken with roasted sweet potatoes, salad and fruit salad.

Friday: Spaghetti dinner fundraiser at Big A’s School

Sunday: Cuban Black Beans and rice (option for kids to make burritos with more toppings if they want).

More from Cooking Light…

Easy Microwave Recipes

Spring Pasta Recipes

Best Quick Breads

Take the Healthy Lunchbox Challenge

Dressing up for dinner

In the last year, it has become apparent to me that my little girl has something I don’t have: the organizing and cleaning gene.

When she makes a bed it looks tidy and nice. When I make a bed it looks like someone just got out of it and pulled the covers back over. She definitely has an eye for style and when in the mood, she is a good cleaner and organizer.

So she got the idea, from something she watched, that we should set up the dinner table for an elegant dinner. Like we live in a castle!

We were due to get new tableware anyway so we bought fancy glasses (plastic), silverware, plates and a new table cloth. She insisted that we all dress up for dinner and picked out my dress. Little D was the only one who didn’t dress up.

I must say, the table looked nice.

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I tried a new salmon dish and when I make salmon, I always have the option of salmon sticks.

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It was nice to dress up and make a big deal about dinner as we are usually pretty casual here. My little princess was pleased with our royal dinner (I wore a crown too).

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Anyone dress up for dinner lately??

In the News — Big Plates, Big Portions

There were a few studies published in Pediatrics this month about factors that increase the risk of childhood obesity. Two of them were familiar — screen time and sleep — more TV (versus other screen time) and less sleep was associated with higher BMIs. But the third one that caught my attention was focused on plate size and how much children eat.

Forty two first grade students served themselves foods and they were randomly assigned small or big plates. The children with the big plates not only put more food on their plates, but consumed almost 50% more calories when doing so.

This got me thinking. Would my kids eat more if they had bigger plates? It would have been interesting to see if how these children were fed influenced these results. Let’s face it, most parents of first graders try to get them to eat more at meals.

Another study, published in the January edition of The International Journal of Obesity, with 4 to 6 year olds showed similar results but they also looked at parental feeding style. The researchers found that the children who served and ate bigger portions were more likely to have mothers who used indulgent feeding styles (giving children what every they want, when they want) or authoritarian feeding styles (controlling what and how much a child eats at mealtime).

This is why I think it’s so important to allow children to regulate their intake at meals while parents provide leadership on what is served, when and how often. As they slowly get out into the real world, with big plates and big portions, they may have trouble navigating it all.

What do you think?

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