Weekly Meal Plan: Monday September 16th

by Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD on September 16, 2013

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Two weeks of school are done.  As far as meals go, my biggest challenge has been Thursday night soccer practices. Big A has them at 5:30 to 7pm.  So we were eating after practices but that seemed too late.  So last week I tried having dinner early and the kids weren’t that hungry because it’s hard to skip a snack after school (Big A is done at 2:30).

I think I’ll try to keep the afternoon snack small and aim for a small dinner before practice and allow for a smoothie or something when we get home.  This week I’m tweaking a recipe with fish sticks made with tilapia (so far I haven’t been too successful) and trying this awesome looking slow cooker dish!

For more meal plan inspiration, check out Org Junkie.

What’s Cooking This Week?

Monday: Have it Your Way Tacos

Tuesday: Pasta with Roasted Summer Beggies (before summer is officially over) and fruit

Wednesday: Kids’ choice

Thursday: Fish Sticks, green salad and fruit (kids make their own which includes fruit and veggies)

Friday: Slow Cooker General Tso’s Chicken with rice and fruit.

More ideas from Cooking Light…

Cooking with Butternut Squash

Pumpkin Bread Recipes

Flavorful Fall Recipes

What About the “How” of Eating in Schools

I’ve been hearing a lot lately from parents about their kids not being allowed to eat a certain item at lunch or that they are pushed to eat their healthy foods first or are asked to eat an acceptable amount (you can go play after taking two more bites).  A reader of mine recently wrote in with her dilemma:

I went to our parent teacher conference last night. She in front of all the parents was explaining the rules and advising parents to pack healthy lunches with no more than one sweet and no pop. Then she explained that they will encourage the kids to eat their healthy food first before they can eat their sweet.

Katja Rowell recently touched on this topic on her blog, focusing on how parents may not always agree with the way nutrition is taught in schools:

Teaching our children to feel good about food, meals and cooking, and their bodies is vitally important to many parents. However: that may look very different for me and my family than for the author of this document, or for your family— and don’t we all have a right as parents (isn’t it our exclusive right as the document asserts) to those different beliefs?

It’s clear to me that we need to be mindful not just about what children are eating at school, but how they are being fed and administered nutrition information. While some parents may be comfortable with one approach, others may not.

If you’re feeling uneasy with what or how your child is being fed or taught nutrition at school, the best approach is to start with honest communication.  Let teachers know how you feel, but most importantly why.

Fearless Feeding is a great resource because we not only get into what and how to feed kids, we also discuss why in terms of child development.  We showcase appropriate nutrition education for each stage of development based how children think and learn.

Has anything like this come up at your child’s school?  And if so, how have you handled it?



I have started writing for SheKnows.com as one of their nutrition experts.  My first article, 5 Ways to Rev Up the Child’s Brain for Learning, discusses the latest research on how to get children’s minds ready to learn.

On WebMD I respond to a letter written in the Journal of the American Medical Association about the relentless search for the perfect weight loss diet in terms of carbohydrates, protein and fat, and why it needs to go. The title of the post: Is the Ideal Diet the Wrong Goal?

Speaking of the craziness in schools, KJ Dell’ Antonia at the Motherlode discusses how some parents are getting letters if the lunches they pack aren’t healthy enough! How would you feel if you got this letter???

I was recently interviewed for the Parent Savers podcast, only 5 minutes from my house.  In this podcast, I talk about healthy feeding strategies and respond to two moms’ questions.  I was happy to hear one of the moms tell me a lot of this information was new to her.

And here’s the latest review of Fearless Feeding on An Apply A Day Nutrition.

Well, that’s it for today. Have a great week!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Rona B September 16, 2013 at 4:51 pm

I’m stopping by for a visit via Menu Plan Monday.
Woo! This has really blown right by. It’s already mid-September. The holidays will be upon us in a matter of time.
Everything looks delicious on your menu plan. Our thoughts and prayers are with those in Colorado and DC.


Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD September 17, 2013 at 7:18 am

Thanks for stopping by Rona!


Megan September 16, 2013 at 9:52 pm

My kids are younger so the oldest (4) has just started preschool, but on the very first day my husband overheard this at the snack table from a teacher (not my daughter’s teacher):

Teacher: “No crackers until you try the watermelon. You need to at least lick it.”
Kid: “I tried it”
Teacher: “Great job, here are some crackers for you.”

Parents like me who try to follow the “division of responsibility” seem to be going against the grain and I’m very interested to hear how others have handled this, especially from Kindergarten forward when the teacher and school have a much larger influence (more meals, more days/week). For now my daughter is only having snack twice a week at her school so I probably won’t make a fuss over it, but next year I might feel differently. Advice from other parents??


Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD September 17, 2013 at 7:26 am

Welcome to the world of other people feeding your child! I noticed this when Big A went to preschool. They did a lot of “healthy foods first” so I just stopped sending sweets. But I did talk to the teachers and I did the same at her kindergarten. I usually tell them what I do for a living, what I noticed about feeding and why I don’t feed my kids that way. Now I can offer them a book ; )


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