So, since leaving full-time employment and becoming a stay at home Mama, I am eager to hit the ground running with routines, eating schedules and activity schedules. This is now my job and I don't do things by halves. I'm preparing to run a tight ship while realistically knowing I'm only kidding myself. But seriously, I know I'm going to need routines to make sure I get dressed and actually live life.

 

My main goal here is, all messing aside, is to know what I'm cooking for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I was chatting to a friend recently and she suggested making a meal plan before going shopping. Such a simple idea, yet revolutionary to me. I spend so much time in the supermarket thinking of dinner ideas and snacks, and I still end up back in the supermarket 5 times a week because I never know what I'm there to buy.

 

I've started researching meal plans that I can easily give to the toddler and baby. I'm a couple of weeks in and it's changed my life. Seriously. I won't lie and say the kids don't eat unhealthy dinners - they do (we love McDonalds), but they have been reduced massively. I failed to prepare and I was failing them both in the food department.

 

Now before I go shopping, I sit and jot down the meals for the week. We're all eating healthier, spending less money on better food and I'm not stressing about food ideas when they're both screaming at me for food. I think we're all winning. Oh and less waste too!

 

So, Where do you start? Well if you're like me and looking to introduce healthier food for a fussy toddler, you'll know it takes upwards of 20 times of offering them a new food for them to accept it into their diet. So that's pretty much 3 weeks of them refusing to eat it before they'll touch it. Patience is a necessity during these few weeks and be prepared for throwing out a lot of food.

 

Secondly, you have to sit down with them. In the past, I've given them their breakfast and while they're eating I'm up the stairs cleaning the bathroom, stripping beds etc. I've stopped doing this and make a point of sitting and eating with them.

 

Now we're only a few weeks into our new routine so the toddler is still putting up a bit of a fight but he's getting there. The baby is flying it, loving food as most babies do.

 

I've listed the meals below that I've been leaning toward the most. The toddler is a lover of vegetables but isn't so keen on meat and fruit so we have to beef up on the veg (pardon the pun) for dinner times as we know he'll more than likely refuse the meat. A lot of what I cook is easy and quick to prepare so I don't feel like I spend my life in the kitchen.

Jessica O’Neill, 26 year old Mama to two under two and author of My Moo and Roo Blog. Currently on maternity leave, winging motherhood everyday.

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