Have you ever found yourself in a mealtime rut?
I mean, my kids love smoothies, so I started making them smoothies every morning for breakfast. It became our "thing", ya know? But then they started getting bored with it. So I'd mix up different kinds of smoothies and they'd be, all, "Oh, Mom, these are soooo good!! I want one every day!!" and I thought myself and genious and continued to make them every day, for weeks. Okay, maybe months. Meh.
But, inevitably, they'd get bored and not be so excited to eat anymore. Their smoothies would get smaller and smaller...eventually, they'd just try to skip breakfast just to avoid that dreaded, once oh-so-delicous smoothie.
It would even happen at lunches. After they got out of their early elementary school years, my kids got tired of sandwiches for lunch. Every single day. (caveat: my youngest 2 boys still beg for pb & j sandwiches every single day of their lives...they sometimes even beg for them at breakfast, which is why I try to keep breakfast fresh and fun)
But, just like with breakfast, we'd find a lunch that we loved and would quickly grow tired of it.
What's a mom to do, man?!!
|Aussie loves chia seed pudding!...but that "love" can quickly turn to "ugh..chia pudding again?!"|
(Let's deviate from this a little bit and let me tell you a story my dad told me the other day on the phone. We were talking about getting in a food rut and eating the same thing day after day and he remembered a day from his childhood. Apparently, my grandpa loved routine. He wanted his oatmeal with raisins every single morning. Dad said that there was not a single day in his entire life when he wanted anything different. Every day, Grandpa wanted oatmeal. Well, grandma wanted to give him something different. I forget what my dad said that grandma made for grandpa, but he was NOT happy at all. He threw a fit and stormed out of the house and said that he was going to work early..and somewhere along the way, he was bound to find someone who had no qualms with making him a bowl of oatmeal. And that was that. Grandma went back to making his oatmeal, every. single. day. Can you imagine that? Wow! Poor Grandma!)
Now back to my family's "dilemma"...I've found a solution that works great for us. We've been doing it for a little while now and, so far, no complaints of "food boredom". (yes, yes, I know...how very first-world promblemish #spoiled)
Here's what I do: it all starts when I do my weekly meal planning. Yep, I am religious with my meal planning and take it very seriously, right down to how I organize (yes, ORGANIZE) my grocery shopping list. Let me know if you're ever interested in how I meal plan! Maybe I'll do a blog post or video about it.
Each week, I plan for 2 different breakfasts and 2 different lunches, to be alternated each day. Each week, I change it up, mixing and matching, changing flavors and/or meals and just having fun. I try to make it so that no two consecutive weeks are the same. And I am able to base the meals on our current budget. I have a wide repertoire of recipes and meal ideas and will just draw inspiration from them, usually. If not, I'll just gave fun with my good friend, Google. ::wink::
Here are a few examples of my breakfast and lunch menu change-ups:
A couple of weeks ago, our breakfasts were
Monday, Wednesday & Friday was scrambled eggs and a piece of toast
Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday was a bowl of oatmeal
That same week's lunches (for the older kids and myself) were
Monday, Wednesday & Friday: large salads
Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday was veggie sandwiches
This week, our breakfasts are
Monday, Wednesday & Friday: an egg & half a blueberry bagel
Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday: PB & Banana Smoothies
Our lunches will be
Monday, Wednesday & Friday: Breakfast Quesadillas
Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday: Cold Pasta Salad
My kids seem to love the change-ups and it really has cut down entirely on my having to hear "sigh...this again?! ugh..."
I figure that I can put together a list of 4-6 weeks of these different mixed up meals and just put them on rotation. I think it will work really well like that. There's so much you can choose from, creating variety: eggs can be scrambled, fried (dippy/sunnyside up), or hard boiled...served with toast, bagel or an english muffin...there's 3 different breakfasts right there! Smoothies can be mixed berry, strawberry banana, green smoothies, pb&j smoothies, pb and banana, peach, blueberry, pumpkin spice...so many different choices...served on different weeks, alternated with different breakfasts gives you plenty of variety! Oatmeal can be refrigerated "overnight" oatmeal, baked oatmeal (like cake), fruity oatmeal or maple and brown sugar or cinnamon spice oatmeal!
So that's how I've been trying to have a little bit of fun in the kitchen... What about you? What are some of your favorite breakfasts and lunches? Do your kids love to eat the same thing day after day or are they wanting more variety? Let me know in the comments! I want to hear how things go in your kitchen!