1st of all I am well aware that today is January 26th. The kids and I were sick when the rest of the world rung in the New Year. The kids remained sick for over a week and I remained sick for almost 3. So, after hibernating for a LONG time and not only continuing bad habits but strengthening them as we felt like death…. I thought a we needed a fresh start. So, we had a belated New Year’s Eve celebration!!
January 24th we had a special dinner complete with sparkling grape juice and french fries! We talked about how in the new year people try to do things differently to make themselves happier and healthier. The kids decided on their resolutions (with only a LOT of guidance): to eat healthier and to go to sleep better. We watched the Beat Bugs countdown on Netflix and we gave them each a small present (mostly because they were things we wanted them to have before the next gift giving occasion anyway!)
Putting Lennon to bed that night I said “Good night bud, Happy New Year!” And he told me he loves New Year and he liked when I helped him drink sparkling grape juice from a big boy cup. I was so happy that a simple thing like grape juice in a non-sippy cup could be such a good memory for him.
So far we’re off to a good start on our resolutions. On the food front Lucille and Lennon have committed to eating dinner every night when Mommy and Daddy eat dinner. They don’t have to eat everything, but they at least have to try dinner. If they don’t like it I told them I’d give them fruit and veggie options they can eat instead, a bowl of blueberries, a banana, whatever it is we have…
Also January 25th (our New Year’s Day) we took the kids grocery shopping with us to pick out fruits and veggies themselves. They picked…. pretty much the same stuff we always get. Plus watermelon… which I don’t normally get in January, but is part of our summer menu often. The fact that they picked out themselves I hoped was going to make them want to eat it more. I’d say it was somewhat successful.
I have also typed up a lot of simple kid friendly recipe ideas for lunch. Nothing crazy, but things to add to our normal rotation of peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese or chicken nuggets. The “recipes” are as simple as making a peanut and jelly sandwich but using apple slices instead of bread or making a grilled cheese but sneaking in a broccoli floret. On top of each page of recipes I put a favorite character of theirs. This way they can pick their own lunch and there are cute little characters guiding them to healthy choices. (Strawberry shortcake has recipes with strawberries, Curious George has recipes with bananas, etc.)
On the bedtime front, Lennon recently switched from his toddler bed to a “big boy bed” aka a twin. He is so much comfier and now almost always sleep through the night! So, that’s half the battle already. But we need to work on them cooperating for their bedtime routine. So, just like our lunches above, I’m using their favorite characters to help guide them.
I made a checklist of all the things we do before we go to sleep: Eat a healthy snack, put on our bedtime lotion and pajamas, brush our teeth, go potty, read a book and finally: go to sleep! Next to each item is one of their favorite characters doing the activity. Together we will be going through the list every night. The kids were really excited about this list and even thanked me for making it!
As for me, I’m trying to get into a better routine of meal preparation and blogging. The meal prep for the sake of my family, so I have less to try to accomplish each day and can focus more on fun… or cleaning! The blogging for myself. Because it’s something I enjoy doing and I hate that it’s the first thing I give up when things get busy. I want to do at least 2 posts every week.
Here’s my meal plan plan: Every Wednesday night I will go shopping. I will have every meal for the entire week planned out. I will buy all ingredients I need for the week’s meals, which will include a 5 pound package of either beef or chicken. Thursday and Friday I will cook up meals using up 2 of the 5 pound package of meat I bought. Saturday morning I will turn the remaining 3 pound of meat into 3 freezer bag meals. Each week the plan will be to use 2 previously stocked freezer meals. This way I’m storing one extra so that if once every month or two we have a crazy busy week where I need to rely heavily (or solely) on freezer meals, I have them!
I have found 10 beef recipes and 20 chicken recipes that I want to try and assuming they’re good, I will use this rotation of 30 recipes repeatedly. So far I’ve only tried 1 of the freezer meals, but made about 10. The first one was GREAT! Once I try more I will definitely be sharing them!!