I have previously stated that I would rather have my yearly gyn checkup than work on a meal plan. Despite the multitude of lovely tutorials, plans, and shopping lists on Pinterest and blogs alike, I detest it. Hate it. Loathe it.
Mostly because my girls have always had wiggity-wiggity-wack allergies that have made meal planning difficult. I’d find myself, at night, being a short order cook because one can have dairy, but the other can’t. Cater to the toddler, cater to the preschooler, cater to the current pregnancy cravings, cater to the husband who is shedding pregnancy weight. You read that right. Apparently when your wife is pounding all the food she can find, it can be difficult to not join her in her endeavors.
And then we were thrown for a loop a couple of weeks ago. Both girls had allergy testing again, and I had whispered little prayers that they had at least outgrown the peanut allergy. Peanut butter, darling, I want you in my life.
Instead, we added more allergies to the list. What the what!?
There are some differentiations between who’s allergic to what, but as a whole, we need to eliminate dairy, eggs, soy, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, and mustard. A little overwhelming.
When both girls were born, I had to alter my diet while nursing them. They weren’t reacting well when I ate dairy, etc. Drastically changing your diet when you’ve got a newborn and little sleep is a hard pill to swallow, so in an act of solidarity and also in an effort to preserve sanity when the new babers arrives in a month, I am going on the same diet that they are.
Plus, I’m pretty sure it’s mean to eat fluffy buttermilk pancakes in front of children who can’t have any. :)
Shoot. I need to meal plan, bittylutions-style. Forget 30 day rotating calendars, I just need a solid week of meals that I can use over and over again while we figure out what our family can eat. I am totally okay with feeding my family the same thing for lunch every day. We’ll get fancy with the recipes someday, but as of right now, I just want to be able to serve a square meal without losing my mind.
So, I scoured the internet, emailed food manufacturers for details (“Could you please send me a list of your products that do not contain the following allergens?”), and considered general toddler + preschooler picky-ness. (Baby Shark treats my amazing lentil soup with disdain, and Rembot has an issue with fresh fruits and their textures.)
I’m starting off with breakfast, and am hoping that I’ll have a lunch meal plan by the end of the week. Dinner? Errr.. I’ll tackle that next week.
Here is my very extensive breakfast meal plan.
Don’t be overwhelmed. I know it’s a lot to take in. :)
Smoothies + cereal, seven days a week. Smoothies are a beautiful way to ensure that my girls get some of the nutrients they’d be lacking otherwise with a restrictive diet.
I start with a base of frozen fruit + coconut milk or frozen fruit + juice. If I’m doing mixed berries, I’ll add a half cup of frozen spinach (the dark berries mask the green). We’ll also add a tablespoon of chia seeds or hemp protein. Top that off with a little honey or agave nectar, and boom. Breakfast.
Everything sits in the freezer, and I’ve got a basket in the pantry for the dry goods. I can walk into my kitchen and, even with my antiquated blender, have smoothies made in three minutes or less. Honest. I timed myself.
(Note: Kristen from Rage Against the Minivan has one of her children on a gluten-free, dairy-free diet, and wrote a great post about hiding healthy stuff in smoothies, if you’re looking for some ideas.)
And then a bowl of cereal topped with rice milk. After some research and emailing, I found a couple of brands of allergy-free cereal that the girls love. Seriously, so easy. I can have a nutritious breakfast on the table in less than the time it takes to do the Peanut Butter Jelly Time dance.
Where they at, where they at…