Breakfast Oatmeal Bar

One of the ways I have found to get my kids to eat new things is to let them make their own.  When we make quiche, I let the kids put in the toppings of their choice.  I noticed when I started doing this they put in things like spinach, tomatoes and sweet potato. When I put those things in myself and then they sit down to eat they usually turn up their nose.  But if they put it together themselves they are more likely to eat it.  When I let my 7 year old make his own sandwiches he’ll add lettuce and tomato but when I add those things he doesn’t want them.

So I decided to try the same concept with oatmeal.  I made a big pot of oatmeal and let each family member scoop out their own bowl and then let them top it with the toppings of their choice.  The whole family really seemed to enjoy it.  I noticed my older boy (who is more picky) did try some new things today.  I topped mine with maple syrup, cinnamon, half and half, toasted nuts and a sprinkle of granola.  I had some watermelon and strawberries on the side.  It was delicious and kept me full until lunch at 12:45.

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In my “What We Ate” posts each week I’ll share some of the recipes we ate for dinner the previous week. I love to get inspiration from what other families are eating so I thought it might be helpful to some of you. Please leave a comment if you have questions about any of these recipes. And if you know of a recipe that you think we might like please share it with me!

***Leftover Pizza and Hotdogs

what we ate

  • We didn’t have our usual Sunday commitments so I was able to go to my PiYo class at 5:00.  Yay!   I needed a quick dinner I could throw together afterwards.
  • We had two pieces of leftover homemade pizza and two leftover hotdogs.  We warmed those up and also had steamed cauliflower and broccoli and fruit.  We were all still a little hungry after that so we snacked on the granola the boys and I made that afternoon.

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Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

A few weeks ago it was Teacher Appreciation Week at my son’s school.  One of the things I wanted to give his teacher was a home cooked meal.  I was going to deliver it one day after school (at 3:00 p.m.) so I needed something that would travel well and still taste great when reheated later in the evening.  After thinking about it for a while I decided soup would be a good option.  I usually go for some type of Mexican soup when taking food to a family because you can deliver it with chips, salsa, and toppings and have a full meal.  But I ended up going with something a little different this time.  I was looking for something that seemed a little more like “home.”  I decided homemade chicken noodle soup would be the perfect choice.  I sent the soup with a box of crackers, salad, and chocolate covered almonds (her favorite.)

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In my “What We Ate” posts each week I’ll share some of the recipes we ate for dinner the previous week. I love to get inspiration from what other families are eating so I thought it might be helpful to some of you. Please leave a comment if you have questions about any of these recipes. And if you know of a recipe that you think we might like please share it with me!

***Picnic at the park

what we ate

  • We had a picnic at the park with some friends.  I packed sandwiches, watermelon, carrots, pistachios, applesauce, and water.

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corndog muffins

I don’t know very many kids that don’t love corndogs.  My kids would eat a Sonic corndog every day if I let them.  They do have one every once in a while but they know it’s more of a “sometimes” food.  We call something a “sometimes” food when it’s a food we shouldn’t eat on a regular basis, but it’s okay to enjoy every once in a while.  I actually used to buy the boxes of frozen corndogs from the grocery store but since I don’t do that anymore I came up with these corndog muffins as a healthier alternative.

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A lot of people suggest focusing on one meal a day to begin with when changing to a healthier diet.  For me, breakfast was one of the first places I started making changes.  I used to eat McDonalds Egg McMuffins, Quaker oatmeal packets, Jimmy Deans frozen breakfast sandwiches, and Raisin Bran (with extra sugar added) most mornings.  While I don’t think it’s a big deal to eat convenience foods on occasion I know for sure eating those types of foods every single morning could not have been good for me.  Slowly but surely I made changes to the things I bought and made and now I feel pretty good about what we eat for breakfast.

The mornings are busy for many of us with kids in school and especially for those that have to get out the door for work.  So I know eating a healthy breakfast can be a challenge. The good news is that there are a lot of options for quick and easy breakfasts.  I’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite foods and some tips for making them convenient for busy families.

1.  Granola

kid friendly granola

My whole family loves granola.  I have made many recipes over the years and finally settled on two recipes that work for us.  My husband and boys like their granola with milk and I like mine plain.  Top some yogurt with granola and fruit and you have a full meal.

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In my “What We Ate” posts each week I’ll share some of the recipes we ate for dinner the previous week. I love to get inspiration from what other families are eating so I thought it might be helpful to some of you. Please leave a comment if you have questions about any of these recipes. And if you know of a recipe that you think we might like please share it with me!

I was talking with a friend the other day about my dinner pictures.  She asked me if I was filled up with the amount of food that is on my plate because it didn’t seem like very much.  The truth is that sometimes that’s all I eat but other times I go back for more.  I always start with smaller portions because I really feel like that’s a good way to help me with portion control.  If I start with a big plateful but am not really hungry enough for it I will likely still end up eating it because it’s on the plate.  So I start smaller but if I’m still hungry I definitely go back for more.

***Leftovers from Mother’s Day Lunch

what we ate

  • We met up with my husband’s family for Mother’s Day and birthday celebrations.  We had 4 family birthdays to celebrate and a long day away from home.  I was thankful to have leftovers from lunch to enjoy.
  • I had some BBQ and a side salad.  My husband had BBQ, corn and macaroni and cheese.  The kids weren’t even hungry.

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pesto grilled cheese with tomato and mozzarella

I love a good grilled cheese and so does the rest of my family.  When I need an easy meal that I know will make everyone happy (meaning no whining from the kids) I can always count on it to fit the bill.  I also love pesto.  A lot.  So imagine my happiness when I discovered the perfect grilled cheese combination that included pesto.  This grilled cheese made with pesto, mozzarella, and tomato is amazing.  It takes the traditional grilled cheese up a notch, for sure.  And since it has tomatoes it’s healthy, right?  Seriously though, just make it with whole grain bread and serve it with fruit, salad or another green veggie and you have a well balanced meal.  My kids love it and when I made it again this week they begged me for seconds.  Unfortunately, I was out of bread and pesto so they didn’t get seconds but I was so happy to know how much they liked it.  I diced the tomatoes for their sandwiches so they didn’t see huge scary pieces of tomato.  I notice that they tend to pull out big chunks of vegetables from things I make but if I cut them small they usually don’t complain as much.

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quick and easy sauteed chickenOne of my favorite dinners is a simple chicken breast with some veggies on the side.  I used to bake chicken regularly but have recently found that I prefer the taste of sautéed chicken over baked.  It’s much more juicy and has a nice little crisp on the outside.  The problem is that cooking the perfect sautéed chicken takes some practice.  I’ve been working on it and think I’ve finally got it down.

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In my “What We Ate” posts each week I’ll share some of the recipes we ate for dinner the previous week. I love to get inspiration from what other families are eating so I thought it might be helpful to some of you. Please leave a comment if you have questions about any of these recipes. And if you know of a recipe that you think we might like please share it with me!

We had a lot of leftovers this week and some totally random meals.  I know most people eat leftovers for lunches (and we do sometimes too) but we usually have salads for lunch so leftovers end up being dinners for us.

***Leftover Pizza and Snacks

what we ate

  • We had a few pieces of leftover pizza from my birthday dinner so we ate those and then we had some of the snacks leftover from Thursday night:  hummus and veggies and strawberries.

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