October Meal Plan and Food Snob Kids

My kids are food snobs, I think.  Or maybe I should amend that to: L. is becoming a food snob, and P. is either a super-discriminating gourmet, or just thinks it’s funnier to watch my expression when he eats scraps off the floor than it is to sit and have a conventional dinner (boring!).  Yesterday I picked L. and P. up from school and L. asked what we were having for dinner.  I told him we would make macaroni and cheese (homemade, of course — I have two different recipes that J. and I like for different reasons).  His teachers noted his lack of enthusiasm, and I had to explain that my kids do not, and have never, eaten mac and cheese, but I do make it from time to time because I like it, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect that at some point they may decide it’s tolerable.

What’s this, you ask?  Children in America who do not eat mac and cheese?  It’s true.  And it’s ALL mac and cheese, not just my two homemade versions.  Someone once said to me, “I bet they would eat the boxed stuff.”  Taking it as a challenge, I went out and got some (albeit the organic, less-terrible kind); I offered it to the kids, and L. told me outright “this is yucky, Mommy.”  He eats sushi, but mac and cheese, in any form, is apparently just unpalatable to him — it’s one of his MOST hated meals.  And P. appears to be following right along in his footsteps.

The teachers, upon hearing this yesterday, smiled wryly.  “They’re too used to those gourmet meals you make,” one joked with me.  I laughed, but she may have a point.  What constitutes comfort food to most of us is just ingrained preference for the cheesy, creamy, carb-y goodness of dishes like mac and cheese; but I’ve served it so seldom to my boys that they’ve developed instead a preference for foods like salmon, avocado, sweet potatoes, and the like.  L.’s idea of comfort food is marinated flank steak with mushrooms and mashed potatoes, and maybe some spinach on the side.  Definitely more sophisticated than most of his classmates — a point that was driven home to me last night when both kids refused their mac and cheese in favor of green beans, carrots, and kale chips.  Kale chips over mac and cheese.  Of all things.

Anyway, it’s that time again — time to reveal what my Food Snob kids will be eating for the next month.  J. had a surprising amount of input into the menu this time.  I always ask him what he’s craving, but he usually doesn’t have a wish list of more than 2 or 3 items.  This time, he waxed poetic for several minutes.  I guess I haven’t been feeding him as well as I thought!

Friday, 10/1: Fend night (I know, an inauspicious beginning, but that’s what happens when the month starts with a Friday!)
Saturday, 10/2: Our anniversary.  J. and I are going out to dinner, and leaving the kids and sitter with my friend B.W.’s Turkey-Bacon bites with honey mustard, a sweet potato casserole, and a vegetable or fruit that I’ll allow L. to choose.
Sunday, 10/3: Eggplant parmesan and pasta, salad
Monday, 10/4: Fish dinner
Tuesday, 10/5: Slow cooker — Autumn chicken with acorn squash, rice
Wednesday, 10/6: Chicken wrap bar, fruit, baked sweet potato fries
Thursday, 10/7: Spaghetti with Peas and Pancetta, salad
Friday, 10/8: Fend night
Saturday, 10/9: Flank steak with mushrooms, mashed potatoes, spinach (there’s L.’s comfort food dinner!)
Sunday, 10/10: Dijon Chicken Stew with Kale, homemade bread
Monday, 10/11: Croque Monsieur, fruit, salad
Tuesday, 10/12: Slow cooker — baby back ribs, cornbread, vegetable medley
Wednesday, 10/13: Just me and the boys — we’ll fend tonight instead of Friday
Thursday, 10/14: Asian lettuce wraps
Friday, 10/15: Shrimp oreganato over angel hair pasta, salad
Saturday, 10/16: Parmesan-crusted chicken cutlets, roasted vegetables, cous cous
Sunday, 10/17: I have a late afternoon performance, so we’ll go simple — Butternut Squash and Pear Soup with sandwiches
Monday, 10/18: Tacos
Tuesday, 10/19: Slow cooker — chicken cacciatore, pasta
Wednesday, 10/20: Breakfast for dinner
Thursday, 10/21: Skillet Pork with apples, red cabbage, rye bread
Friday, 10/22: Fend night
Saturday, 10/23: French onion soup, salads with poached eggs
Sunday, 10/24: Another afternoon performance — I’ll leave ham and cheese stuffed shells for J. to pop in the oven before I get home
Monday, 10/25: Chicken breasts with goat cheese and tomato sauce, gnocchi, roasted broccoli
Tuesday, 10/26: Slow cooker — pot roast
Wednesday, 10/27: Turkey burgers, baked fries, fruit
Thursday, 10/28: Fish dinner (possibly salmon cakes)
Friday, 10/29: Fend night
Saturday, 10/30: Pumpkin risotto and salad
Sunday, 10/31: Sunday Roast Chicken dinner

As always, feel free to comment and ask for recipes or clarifications.  Happy eating!

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9 Responses to October Meal Plan and Food Snob Kids

  1. KJ says:

    I too just discovered your blog thru your post to Real Simple. I am inspired by your ability to get your children not only to eat but to actually prefer healthy food! Whenever my husband and I are blessed with children, I hope to follow your lead. In the meantime, could you please send me your recipes for Autumn Chicken and Dijon Chicken Stew? They sound like a great dishes now that the weather is cooling down.

    • Wow, thanks for stopping by! Let me tell you — getting kids to eat is always harder than you think it should be, but as with all things in parenting, consistency is the key. If eating something less healthy becomes an option once, they’ll fight to have it be an option forever; but if family dinner and one meal for all is the norm, that’s what they’ll eventually grow to expect and accept (eventually. Eventually!). And you know, sometimes I feel like they’re not making good healthy choices, but then I remember that giving them pretzels at snacktime doesn’t negate the fact that they ate kale, butternut squash, and applesauce at lunch! It’s all relative, I guess.
      The Dijon Chicken Stew one is actually not my original recipe — that one is from Cooking Light. Here’s the link:
      http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1142000
      I do sometimes add either sweet potato rather than regular potato, or stir in a bit of honey; I find it makes a difference.
      And the autumn chicken slow cooker recipe will be coming, hopefully, tomorrow. That one, I haven’t made much, and I can’t quite recall all the details.

      Hope you’ll keep reading!

    • OK, Autumn Chicken recipe — it’s one that I originally got from the internet, have played with a bit, and will keep playing with until I feel it’s right, but I like the idea of it and hope you will too. Take 4 bone-in chicken breasts (or you could use legs and thighs; I’d use 8 pieces in that case) and place in your slow cooker with 4 carrots, cut in one-inch pieces; 2 parsnips, cut the same way; 1 acorn squash or 1/2 a butternut squash, peeled and cubed; and 2 sweet potatoes or Yukon Golds (I find those get a little too soft for my taste), peeled and cubed. Mince 4 cloves of garlic and sprinkle over the top, along with 2 tsp. of dried thyme and a little salt and pepper. Whisk together 4 cups of chicken stock, the juice of 1/2 a lemon (orange would probably work here too), and 1/4 cup of honey; pour over the chicken and veggies. Cook covered, on low, for 6-8 hours.

  2. Tiffany Herrmann says:

    Oh and maybe the recipe for… Saturday, 10/23: French onion soup, salads with poached eggs

    🙂

    • Hi Tiffany! Thanks for reading! Glad you clicked over (I never know if people will do that or if it’s a waste of time to post the link). 🙂 I will be sure to get you the recipes for both of these soon — at the moment I’m not within reach of my handy-dandy book, and I’m not positive that I’ve got them committed so well to memory that I can confidently give them to you without messing them up. In the meantime, please keep reading!

    • French Onion soup recipe — my mom’s old one — so easy! It’s 4 cups of thinly sliced sweet yellow onions — saute them in 3 tablespoons of butter or olive oil (or a combination) until they are lightly golden brown. Add 1/4 cup of flour and cook, stirring, about 3 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of beef bouillon granules and 6 cups of water OR, if you don’t want to use bouillon, 6 cups of beef stock, along with some salt and pepper, and stir to combine everything. You can also throw in some fresh thyme sprigs or a bay leaf here if you want; it’s surprisingly unnecessary. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat and let it simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. To make it a gratin-style soup like you get in restaurants, put it in ovenproof crocks, top with either homemade croutons or (in a pinch) store-bought crisp bread and some grated Gruyere cheese, then broil until the cheese is bubbly and brown.
      For the salads, I just do a mixture of greens and some shredded carrots and thinly sliced cucumbers and radishes, then toss the salad with a dijon vinaigrette (approximately 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, a pinch of garlic powder, salt, and pepper; whisk in about 5 tablespoons of olive oil, or until you taste it and it’s not too tart). Then I poach some eggs and crumble and cook a few slices of bacon, and top the dressed salads with one egg and a few bacon crumbles. The salad is SO good with the runny egg yolk down over the vegetables! It’s a rich dinner, but we love it, and it sure warms you up on a cool night!

  3. Tiffany Herrmann says:

    Hi There,

    I just happened to stumble on y our blog from Real Simple and I must say that you have some great recipes! I was interested in several that you have listed for October but, to start…. I’d love the recipe for Tuesday, 10/5: Slow cooker — Autumn chicken with acorn squash, rice.

    Looking forward to seeing more blogs in the future.

    T-

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