PHOTOGRAPHY // Erica J. Simmons
I’m having one of those weeks where I am ahead of schedule and actually had (ok, made) the time to plan what I’d like to make my family for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Now, I’ll be honest, while this is a specific plan, takeout happens if it needs to. But after someone in my Instagram comments asked me to share my meal plan, I thought this was the perfect opportunity.
For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been very deliberate about incorporating more whole foods in our meals and snacks. The girls totally enjoy eating fruits with their meals and as a snack, but I think kids get a bad rap when it comes to veggies. My kids will likely eat vegetables if I present it to them regularly as an option on their plate. Chris and I could absolutely use more veggies in our diets. I’m also eating while prioritizing my gut health and blood type, so I’ve been including foods that noticeably benefit my health at this time.
Traditions in my house include always eating dinner at the table together and eating a big pancake breakfast on Saturday morning. We tend to eat breakfast together on weekdays unless Chris or I have a meeting and the kids are dragging feet. I love eating all our meals together, so trying to tweak our daily schedule to increase the likelihood of that happening.
Breakfast tends to sway on the savory side – but when I made smoothie bowls last week, it was a hit. Lunch varies from sandwiches, leftovers, frozen pizza and takeout. It’s my biggest opportunity to get better as far as meals are concerned. Lunch time always seems to sneak up on me like, “Oh!” Because of Maizah’s virtual class schedule sometimes we have lunch early (around 11) or (around 1:30). I need to designate a time for lunch (even if it alternates on every other day) to give everyone a clear expectation on when they will eat lunch.
The kids eat various snacks throughout the day, but the ones I try to ensure quality over convenience is the one before dinner and the one after breakfast. The snack after lunch can be something fun like fruit snacks or a popsicle. I am a firm rule – no processed sugar after 4p since we have dinner around 6 and their bedtime is 8p. They can do fruit or have a dry savory snack, but I’ve noticed good things when we let them have their sugar earlier vs. later.
Chris is easily the healthiest eater in our home but he also has the biggest sweet tooth. I make him a cup of green tea every morning and encourage him to stay hydrated. Between making sure the kids are on schedule and have something to do plus staying on top of work, it’s easy to get dehydrated in these work from home streets.
If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I encourage drinking 12 oz of water before coffee or anything else. Water does everyone’s body good and you can have it so many ways – with ACV, room temperature, cold, warm, with lemon. There are a variety of benefits for any way you do it, but it’s all about finding the best fit for your current body and your needs + goals.
Typically, I plan my meals & order groceries on Saturday and set us up for success on Sunday. Since the pandemic started, I usually don’t get to that until Monday or Tuesday. But Monday ends up being a takeout dinner day for us anyways because of our work and Maizah’s school schedule. So ordering groceries on Monday works out because the goal is to cook most of the time Tuesday through Saturday. Home cooked meals just taste and feel better in my opinion. (They’re also usually healthier.)
Here’s what I’d like to make for breakfast, lunch and dinner this week.
Breakfast: Multigrain toast plus bacon, avocado, kiwi and mango
Lunch: Cheese quesadillas plus cucumber salad (slices for the kids) and strawberries
PM Snack: Snack board with orange slices, yogurt pretzels, Gouda, cashews & green grapes
Dinner: Linguine with ground turkey red sauce plus broccoli and french bread
Breakfast: Smoothie bowls topped with banana slices, blueberries and granola
Lunch: Turkey sandwiches plus orange slices, chips and side salad
PM Snack: pretzels, Colby jack cheese & chocolate chips
Dinner: Chicken tacos plus cilantro rice and black beans tortilla chips with guacamole
Breakfast: Overnight oats with almond milk, honey, peanut butter & banana slices
Lunch: Leftover pasta sauce with penne plus broccoli and green grapes
PM Snack: Greek yogurt with granola, peaches & blueberries
Dinner: Turkey burgers plus oven baked fries and green beans
Breakfast: Green smoothies
Lunch: Pizza with orange slices and blueberries
PM Snack: Pear and kiwi salad with cashews or almonds
Dinner: Baked salmon push oven roasted red potatoes and broccoli & carrots
Breakfast: Pancakes top with berries plus skillet potatoes, bacon, sauteed spinach & mushrooms
Lunch: Turkey sandwiches with kiwi and mango
PM Snack: Apples with peanut butter plus mozzarella string cheese
Dinner: Baked chicken thighs
What’s your favorite thing to make for breakfast, lunch or dinner during the week?