Episode 13-Sunit and Angie Trueblood Talk Meal Planning
Angie Trueblood is a meal planning strategist and writer. She spends her time helping other mamas simplify dinner in an effort to create more space for quality family time.
Angie talks about working with busy moms to help simplify dinner time and it was something that was born out of necessity for her own life as a mom. Mealtime used to be fun and became a chore when kiddos came into the picture. She had envisioned meal time being a time to reconnect so she set out to do that. Her fb group was founded with the desire to share with other moms and see what they were doing. She ended up loving being able to help women plan better and bring mealtime back to being family time. Her business is a culmination of all these things.
Sunit reminds listeners that paying attention to some of these desires that tug at you can end up becoming a business that you love, that allows you to pursue your dreams and stay home with your kids.
Angie says as busy moms we are making hundreds of decisions a day, so planning appropriately for mealtime can be something that takes one more thing off the table and alleviates stress. Sunit says planning is the key. Meal planning shifts through the different stages of life so being aware that it will flex is good, and when you know these changes will shift, you are better prepared.
They talk about “start as you mean to go” and why it is important to implement this strategy for meals also. Sunit asks what women should be thinking about and how it applies to all stages. Angie says it’s important to come up with a system BEFORE baby comes along. Put in the hard work NOW while you’re pregnant. Coming up with a list of meals that take less than 30 minutes that provide you with a starting point is key.
Angie refers to kids who are more “opinionated” in their eating and sees many moms catering to all the different preferences in the home as kids get older. There is not enough time for a mom to cater to everyone, so know ahead of time what your plan is and stick to it. Parents are often accommodating their children from pureed to solid food and bending over backwards to appease their kids, and it can result in stressful mealtimes and separate mealtimes for parents and kids. It doesn’t need to be this way. Kids can eat what parents eat from a young age and always making mealtime family time will start you off on the right foot.
Sunit refers to “Baby Led Weaning”, the book which encourages starting kids on true solids instead of purees. This method helps children get exposed to different textures and flavors of food as well as encourages them building their pincer grasp. They can control what they eat and best of all, it’s easy for mom. Sunit says that this way of introducing solids has led to good eaters who are not overly picky and a peaceful mealtime in her home. When you set the expectations, your children will learn to respect them. Moms need to give themselves a break. Your job is not to be a short order cook-it is simply to feed them and teach them healthy habits.
Snack foods and packaged foods can set kids up for failure because it is tough to transition from those to real food. Start as you mean to go. Ensure snacks are truly just small and healthy. Otherwise they don’t really enjoy the next meal.
Sunit refers to “French Kids Eat Everything”, the book that is written by a woman who had to move to France when her kids were young. She discovered why French kids are better eaters than Americans and that they don’t snack. Once Sunit read the book she cut out extra snacks and it has been great for her family.
There is no eating food on the go in France. Meals are to be enjoyed while you’re sitting down and when you are truly hungry. Angie refers to the book “It’s not about the Broccoli”. It’s about teaching kids good habits. Sunit agrees that thinking about all this ahead of time avoids rash decisions in the moment.
She talks about how having those discussions with kids from an early age has been a mainstay in their home. They have taught their kids that anything that grows outside in the ground or on trees is healthy food and everything else is treat food. She mentions the documentary “the Kids Menu”, (http://www.kidsmenumovie.com ) and how she learned to talk to her kids even better about making healthy choices. Asking them “what would Iron Man (or any superhero they admire) eat?” when they are making a choice, will almost always result in a healthier choice made from a rational decision making process rather than being told to choose the broccoli over the cookie. We underestimate kids.
Sunit asks Angie about tips for new and expecting moms to prepare for being too busy to cook.
Angie says the goal should be to never sit down and feel like you’re starting from zero. Angie says freezer meals are gold. Create base food that is easily added to. A chicken that can be split up and seasoned differently can be frozen for different meals on different nights. Pasta and instant brown rice can be a great starter for that chicken. Frozen shrimp can be a lifesaver.
Sunit adds two points: ask for gift cards to restaurants that deliver instead of baby gifts, and also anything that can be made in muffin tins in batches makes a great freezer meal to make ahead. Also, there are great meat substitutes that you should keep stocked in your pantry, black beans, quinoa, mushrooms, for a hearty meal if you don’t have time to defrost meat.
Angie says you should always have a steady grocery list of must haves for your pantry so grocery shopping is easy. Also, always cook more than you plan to eat, and be creative with the leftovers. Shortcuts are key!
Now is also a good time to think ahead about what parts of your life are going to change with a baby…like grocery shopping. Who can help with this and can you order online?
Angie makes a good point that when you are actually go grocery shopping you end up seeing and buying things not on your list and you spend more than the delivery charge of having things delivered!
Sunit says to start setting up your tribe. Ask for help, and if you aren’t expecting, look at your pregnant friends who might need you, and make food for them and just give it to them to freeze.
Sunit asks Angie what her vision and hope for our future is. Angie says she wants a world where we get back to valuing and having, quality time with our family. She wants to see families cutting out the “busy” and being more intentional with their time. Mealtime gets lost in the busy-ness and she wants to see it brought back. Sunit says to sit down and really enjoy your meal. Cut out the excess, don’t make it busy, we can all make our lives less busy. It is a choice.
You can find Angie at www.mealplanningmama.com.
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