Healthy eating for kids: Why meal planning for kids makes a difference

Fellow parents, getting your little ones to enthusiastically gobble up their greens can be hard, am I right? Well, today I want to let you in on one of my tried and true secrets for making sure my 10, eight and three-year-old get a well-rounded diet with minimal fuss most of the time – meal planning!

Starting children off early in life with healthy eating is the key to making it easier on you, the adult. Although, when it comes to kids there is always a challenge. For example, my eldest ate bear paws and pre-packaged sliced cheese, and yes – even McDonald’s as a younger child. My youngest has barely tried anything from the centre aisles in the grocery store, but he can still be a very picky eater. My middle child hates fruit! What the…?

Meal-planning, however, helps to remove the guess work from what to feed my family. I take about 30 minutes each week and plan out what we will eat from Monday to Friday afternoon.

THE BENEFITS OF MEAL PLANNING

If I plan my meals from Monday’s breakfast until Friday’s lunch, I’ll usually have enough leftovers Friday night to whip up something on the fly for dinner. Plus I am having 70% of my meals with clean ingredients that keeps my family healthy, happy and gives my kids a strong foundation to build a healthy immune system on. I know the 80/20 rule is popular these days, but I prefer to strive for 70/30 so as not to let “perfect” be the enemy of good.

The best part of meal planning is that I have no stress during a busy week with what to make and my kids have a few meals they get to pick (the clean version of course!) Some meals they just have to eat whether they like it or not, because I will never make a separate meal for them.

FOOD CAN BE FLEXIBLE

However, I do believe in flexibility, which means my kids have “treats” such as going out to restaurants and once in a blue moon having dairy and wheat. It’s not about moderation for us, as I believe that food that will leave us with health issues should rarely be eaten. Being flexible, however, is only fair.

For example, if my kids go to a birthday party, I’m not willing to force them to skip the cake. I mean, that wouldn’t be any fun, right? I let them enjoy because I know what they will be eating the following week and how healthy and non-inflammatory it will be.

IT TAKES TIME AND PRACTICE 

I only arrived at this destination after committing a solid effort to plan my weekly meals and making sure that what they were getting was mostly healthy. In other words, meal planning allows me to make room for sub-optimal eating.

I’m happy that my kids now know what it feels like to have a ton of energy and sharp minds. Hopefully when they get out into the world on their own and they eat crap and feel like crap, they will know what feeling amazing is like and have a grasp of how to get back there.

What does healthy eating for kids on a meal plan look like?
Here’s a little slice of our life. For breakfast today my kids had egg muffins with spinach, mushrooms and goat cheese. They snacked on berries, bananas, and oranges. Lunch was lettuce turkey wraps with some cut up veggies and, just to really torture them, dinner was a sautéed sausages with sauerkraut and Swiss chard. Not too bad at all and even this one day of clean eating on its own is enough to make a momma feel proud.

About Me

Hi, I’m Tracy! I create food solutions to feed your life goals. I’m a Nutritionist, chocoholic + superhero fan. Mom to three, wife to one, crazy about all four, and food! When you work with me you’ll learn to savour life and nourish all that it has to offer.

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6 months ago
Tracy Houle Nutrition
I dont know about you but I have been struggling over these last few months. 

All of the things that Im normally pretty good at like staying positive, eating well, and being active have really been challenging for me during these difficult times.

I needed an inner shakedown!

And what I found was that I needed a really good plan and some accountability.

Starting on Monday, May 3rd, Im committing to a 4-week meal plan to revitalize my health and help me shed a few pounds. 

Wanna join me?

Just send me a quick DM with “I’M IN” and I’ll send you more info.

#healthfirst
#foodmatters
#nutritionist
#healthylifestyle
#cleaneating

I don't know about you but I have been struggling over these last few months.

All of the things that I'm normally pretty good at like staying positive, eating well, and being active have really been challenging for me during these difficult times.

I needed an inner shakedown!

And what I found was that I needed a really good plan and some accountability.

Starting on Monday, May 3rd, I'm committing to a 4-week meal plan to revitalize my health and help me shed a few pounds.

Wanna join me?

Just send me a quick DM with “I’M IN” and I’ll send you more info.

#healthfirst
#foodmatters
#nutritionist
#healthylifestyle
#cleaneating
... See MoreSee Less

6 months ago
Tracy Houle Nutrition
TODAY is EARTH DAY 🌳 (which is really everyday) and if you want to know how small changes can add up to a healthier planet 🌏 check out my newest blog (link below) where I do a deep dive into modern agriculture and how it impacts our health, as well as the health of the planet.

 

Actually, not be an ‘askhole’ but I’d really appreciate if you could take the 10 minutes, or so, to read it.

 

When it comes to farming, we’re in a cultural crisis – and it’s never been more important for food production to evolve and it’s us who will make it happen with our buying power.

 

The good news is that smaller scale, environmentally friendly, and regenerative farming practices are playing a big part in helping to restore lost nutrition in our soil and food, and you can “be the change” with my list of what you can do as an individual today!
 

So, have a read and let me know if you can support your local farmers or share your favourite farm in the comments below.

Two of my favourite local food producers are @farmqueenfoods & @providencehillfarm.ca 
 
https://tracyhoule.com/food_health_climate_change/

TODAY is EARTH DAY 🌳 (which is really everyday) and if you want to know how small changes can add up to a healthier planet 🌏 check out my newest blog (link below) where I do a deep dive into modern agriculture and how it impacts our health, as well as the health of the planet.



Actually, not be an ‘askhole’ but I’d really appreciate if you could take the 10 minutes, or so, to read it.



When it comes to farming, we’re in a cultural crisis – and it’s never been more important for food production to evolve and it’s us who will make it happen with our buying power.



The good news is that smaller scale, environmentally friendly, and regenerative farming practices are playing a big part in helping to restore lost nutrition in our soil and food, and you can “be the change” with my list of what you can do as an individual today!


So, have a read and let me know if you can support your local farmers or share your favourite farm in the comments below.

Two of my favourite local food producers are @farmqueenfoods & @providencehillfarm.ca

tracyhoule.com/food_health_climate_change/
... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

Very informative. Thanks for sharing !

7 months ago
Tracy Houle Nutrition
Ready for the truth no one wants you to know?

There actually IS a secret tool to getting healthier.

Here’s another secret:
It DOESN’T involve giving up treats and wine forever.

In fact, the way I’ve been able to keep my family and I healthy for the last decade has been largely thanks to the 80/20 rule.

This week’s blog (link below) is ALL about moderation. The word you hear SO MUCH, but never really know how to practically include in your life.

Also on the blog, 15 DELICIOUS (and I mean actually delicious) vegetable recipes.

No, I’m not going to tell you to make a plain salad with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

Let’s talk about VEGGIES that are delicious and taste like our favourite comfort food.

When we start to rekindle our flame with veggies, we remember how good they can taste and how they make us FEEL.

What’s your favourite FUN way to include veggies in your diet? 

https://tracyhoule.com/how-to-rekindle-the-flame-with-vegetables/

Ready for the truth no one wants you to know?

There actually IS a secret tool to getting healthier.

Here’s another secret:
It DOESN’T involve giving up treats and wine forever.

In fact, the way I’ve been able to keep my family and I healthy for the last decade has been largely thanks to the 80/20 rule.

This week’s blog (link below) is ALL about moderation. The word you hear SO MUCH, but never really know how to practically include in your life.

Also on the blog, 15 DELICIOUS (and I mean actually delicious) vegetable recipes.

No, I’m not going to tell you to make a plain salad with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

Let’s talk about VEGGIES that are delicious and taste like our favourite comfort food.

When we start to rekindle our flame with veggies, we remember how good they can taste and how they make us FEEL.

What’s your favourite FUN way to include veggies in your diet?

tracyhoule.com/how-to-rekindle-the-flame-with-vegetables/
... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

I really enjoyed reading your blog on Veggies! I like the different ideas on how to incorporate more veggies. I love grilled veggies the best but also enjoy making casseroles with different veggies! I cant wait to try some of your new veggie recipes....even the butternut smoothie😬!

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