Weekly Meal Plan

Simple Meal Planning including Free Printable Planner

I’ve been meaning to make this meal planner for sometime now. Every Sunday I tell myself “I’ll do that this week” then another week flies by and another meal planning session slaps me in the face. UGH. Things have moved on a little (only a little) since I made this last meal planner. We’ve added new foods to the regular hit list and have a bit of a theme to each day.

Pebble LOVES the daily theme and it’s really helped her to accept that some days she gets her favourite and some days she doesn’t. I like it too, it kind of makes meal planning easier, it reduces the overwhelming “what to cook” feeling a little bit. As for Rocky – he hates anything that isn’t sausages or yoghurt. We just keep trying *sigh*

I plan for Mondays and Tuesday to be most labour intensive, as that’s when I have my days off. Then Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are meals that are super quick and easy or cooked ahead. Saturday and Sunday are a breeze, as you’ll see!

Below is a screenshot showing a planner filled in with all our family favourites. Following that is a screenshot of the empty planner.

Simple Meal Planning including Free Printable Planner
Octavia and Vicky Meal Plan Printable

If you want this meal planner just click on the images above to download.

What are the favourite family meals in your home?

Want some food inspiration? This doco on Netflix is pretty mind blowing.

Netflix Chef's Table

*Disclaimer: I’m a part of the Netflix Stream Team. Netflix provided me with a 12 month subscription. I am not obliged to nor do I get paid to write about Netflix. If and when I do write about Netflix, all opinions are my own. 

 

Easy ‘Fried’ Rice – Simple Dinners Blog Hop

Easy Fried Rice

I’ve written before about our fussy little eater, and strategies we’ve put in place to get over the dinner time hump. I am very pleased to say that we are still using the Family Meal Planner every day, and Pebble is now eating eleven different dinners. Reminder: she used to ask for one of two dinners every. single. night. Now she just asks “what’s for dinner tonight, Mum?” As it should be, don’t you think?

The next step is to start including a new meal to try once a week or once a fortnight, to keep on broadening Pebble’s meal choices.  We tried this recently with “Fried” Rice and it went down a treat. The best part about Fried Rice is that you can customise it to what your child enjoys eating and/or what you have in the fridge. This meal changes each time I make it, Paul and I have always enjoyed eating it, and now Pebble chows down on it too. The other awesome thing is that you can choose how you make it – if you’re in a rush you can use microwave steam packs of rice and vegetables, or if you prefer and have more time you can cook the rice from scratch and use fresh vegetables. You can use fresh chicken, or shred up a pre-cooked BBQ chook from the supermarket.

Easy ‘Fried’ Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon oil (I use rice bran oil)
  • 1 small chicken breast, cut into small pieces (or 1 chicken breast from a roast chook)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (I use the jar stuff!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced (more jar stuff for us!)
  • vegetables of your choice, cut into small pieces (try capsicum, mushroom, peas, corn, snow peas, spring onion, broccoli, carrot, green beans). You can use fresh or frozen.
  • 2 cups white rice, cooked (freshly cooked, or cooked the day before, or a microwave pack)
  • soy sauce

Method

  1. If using fresh chicken, stir fry in a wok or non-stick frying pan with the oil until just cooked, then add in the garlic and ginger, and stir fry for another 30 seconds or so, until fragrant. If using pre-cooked chicken then stir fry the garlic and ginger in oil for 30 seconds before adding the cooked, shredded chicken.
  2. Microwave the vegetables for a couple of minutes until just cooked, then add to the wok/frying pan. I just throw all the veggies into the same microwave safe bowl for this job and do them together. Keep it simple!
  3. Add the rice to the wok and stir fry until everything is well combined and hot.
  4. Add soy sauce to taste before eating – that way everyone gets to choose how much to add to their plate.

As Pebble is super fussy the first time I served this I asked her what she wanted to add to her rice, and made her a separate bowl. Her fried rice included just peas, corn, broccoli and chicken, with no soy sauce, and she gobbled it all up.

A couple of optional extras that I often include for Paul and I is chopped bacon and chopped omelette. Both only take a minute to cook in the wok and add extra flavour and colour.

Easy Fried Rice

 photo SimpleFamilyDinnerBlogHop_zps61b8cafe.jpg

Please follow along on the Blog Hop!  You’re sure to find some simple family recipes that will make cooking at home much simpler.

Kylie @ Octavia and Vicky

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Printable Family Meal Planner

Printable Family Meal PlannerThis post is sponsored by Digital Parents

We have been using a new family meal planning system and it’s going great!  Dinner time got a little out of control over the holiday season and Pebble spent a couple of weeks eating a lot of her favourite foods, and not much else. With Christmas out of the way and no more work to think about (hooray, maternity leave!) my brain found some space to take some control of the situation.

First I asked Pebble what her favourite dinner foods are (I may have given her some reminders of things that she’s tried and liked). We ended up with a good list of ten meals that she enjoys. Then I made a menu planner with days of the week cards and printed them out along with photos of Pebble’s favourite dinners. I laminated the lot and stuck them on the pantry wall.

I needed to make sure that the meal planner was stuck securely, but also that each day of the week and each meal was easy to move around each week. I used Scotch Restickable Tabs, which have worked perfectly. The menu stays put on the pantry door, and Pebble can easily grab each meal and put it where she wants to. There are no sticky or oily marks on the paint, and the best part is that the tabs can be washed with soapy water, rinsed and air dried to restore their stickiness. Keep reading to find out how you can win Scotch Restickable Tabs to try for yourself.

Printable Family Meal Planner Printable Family Meal Planner

Pebble was quite excited to see her new menu on display. She loved that all her favourite foods were shown, and also enjoyed looking at the days of the week. It was just like the calendar on Play School! She chose the foods that she wanted to put on her menu and on which days. Giving Pebble the control over the process has really helped her to embrace the change.

Printable Family Meal Planner

Pebble is eating a much wider range of foods and much less processed foods too.  I make my own ‘chicken nuggets’ (chicken breast schnitzels) and Pebble is now eating REAL tomato sauce on her pasta – made from TOMATOES! I serve up either salad or vegetables on the side, for Pebble to pick and choose from. Of course we still have our busy days when things don’t go as planned, but overall it’s working really well.

Scotch Restickable Tabs Giveaway

Thank you to 3M for generously giving me the full range of their Scotch Restickable Tabs to Giveaway to one reader.

To enter please leave a comment on this post telling me how you would like to use the Scotch Restickable tabs.

I also have 15 trial packs to giveaway to the first 15 commenters on this post.
*Australian addresses only

Update: Congrats to the winner of this giveaway: Bertha!

Product information: The Scotch Restickable Mounting range is a unique and innovative light weight mounting product which can be washed with soapy water, rinsed and air dried to restore stickiness. Scotch Restickable tabs are available in a variety of sizes, tabs, strips and sheets from Office works and Bunnings stores national wide. RRP $4.95.

Download your printable family meal planner

Three styles to choose from – click on the style of your choice to download:

Printable Family Meal Planner

Printable Family Meal Planner

Printable Family Meal Planner

Download your printable ‘Today Is…’ cards

Three styles to choose from – click on the style of your choice to download:

Printable Family Meal Planner

Printable Family Meal Planner

Printable Family Meal Planner

Kylie @ Octavia and Vicky

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Family Friendly Lunch Box Treats with The Kids Co-Op

I think I may have been a little hungry when reading through last weeks Weekly Kids Co-Up posts. My favourites are all about tasty treats and family food! Make sure you check out these yummy recipes.

The Weekly Kids Co-Op Featuring:

Family Friendly Lunch Box Treats

  1. Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Balls from Learning and Growing the Piwi Way
  2. Healthy Chocolate Mini Muffins from Mummy Musings and Mayhem
  3. Banana Chip Breakfast Bars from Buggy and Buddy
  4. Dinodilla Mexican Dinner from Kitchen Fun with My Three Sons
  5. 5 Ingredient No-Knead Bread from Lessons Learnt Journal
  6. Apple Cinnamon Yoghurt Muffins from Full Hands, Full Hearts

Welcome to The Weekly Kid’s Co-Op! Each week we get together and share family friendly activities for kids. Follow Kid’s Co-Op on Facebook & Pinterest to find family oriented, fun, unique and educational ideas all week long.

Note to Bloggers: By linking up, you agree that your photos are Pinterest-friendly and can be shared with credit on Weekly Kids Co-Op host blogs.  Any questions can be directed to Weekly Kids Co-Op coordinators, Krissy of B-Inspired Mama and Tricia of Two Big, Two Little.

The Weekly Kids Co-Op



Ask Octavia and Vicky: School Lunch Box Ideas

{Thanks to Childhood 101, Picklebums and Learn with Play @ Home for the images}

It’s time for Ask Octavia and Vicky, round 2!

I was just thinking that there is soooo much info on the web about kids lunch boxes and what to/not to pack for them, and how to say no when they ask for “LCMs” etc. However, my little man is not likely to munch on carrot sticks like some websites suggest.
I thought you may have some practical ideas/advice as a teacher of little ones, and I was wondering if you could do a blog about it.
My son starts school in a few weeks and I’m starting to feel very afraid about packing 5 lunchboxes a week.
I hope you are enjoying the sunshine!

I wish I had an easy answer for you! I think school lunches is one of those things that drives parents round the twist. No matter how hard you try to pack a delicious and nutritious lunch, something will inevitably come back uneaten. Then just when you think you’re on to a winner, your lovely child decides that they now hate their favourite lunch box choices.

I see lots of different lunch boxes come through the classroom, but I thought one of the best ways to get ideas for lunches is from kids themselves. Chatting to the five and six year olds that I know, I was quite surprised by how simple they like their lunch. Here are the favourites:

  • Sandwiches, rolls and wraps
    • vegemite and butter
    • tomato and ham
    • ham, cheese and mustard
    • butter and ham
    • mustard, fritz and sauce
    • ham and cheese
    • cheese
    • salami
    • fritz and sauce
    • chicken and lettuce
  • Other lunch box favourites:
    • cold pasta with chicken and tomato
    • crackers with butter and/or cheese
    • sushi (lots of mums make home made sushi!)
    • cruskits and juam
    • salad (tomato, cucumber, lettuce)
    • pizza (homemade or leftovers)
  • Favourite snacks for break time
    • chocolate custard (homemade)
    • cheese
    • cake
    • cookies
    • yoghurt
    • crackers

I suggest going straight to the source for ideas. Give your child a range of things to choose from and ask them to pick what they would like for lunch. If you want to limit ‘treats’ and pre-packaged food perhaps have a 1-per-day rule. Try to keep it simple, for you and for them. They don’t need to have a different lunch every day – no need to get all Martha Stewart on yourself!

If you’re looking for more lunch box inspiration, try these ideas from other Aussie mums:

Lunch Box Ideas Calendar 2013

LOTS of Lunchbox Ideas

Lunch box ideas for kids who don’t like sandwiches

20 Lunch Box Snack Ideas (+ free printable!)

Snack boxes – healthy food for kids

Healthy Choc Mini Muffins and Mini Cheese Crackers

Fruit and Coconut Balls, Cheeseymite and Pizza Scrolls and Mini Banana Muffins

Yummy Biscuit Recipes

What’s in your child’s favourite lunch box?