View Full Version : Single Mom Menu Planning for Toddler
07-13-2008, 08:29 PM
So, I am trying to plan a menu for ME and my daughter, Seven, who is 2.
As a single mother, I have to take into considerating these major things:
3. The fact I have a toddler.
4. The fact I am gone a lot of the day and other people feed her, too.
Honestly, yall, I am stressing. I am SO tired of preparing separate meals for the two of us--especially since it might tempt me to eat poorly.
Also, other people like her grandmother, feed her chicken nuggets, etc...inspite of my requests while I am gone. Grandma and me don't get along (we'll save that for another post)--so she isn't exactly respecting my wishes and because I am gone, I don't really have much control of what actually gets carried out.
I am running on a strict budget and am having a hard time coming up with creative ideas. So, I've come here in hopes you all may have some to share.
Mornings we pretty much just eat fresh fruit, smoothies, or green smoothies. 1. What can I send with her to child care for lunch?
2. What can I preprepare for grandma to not be weirded out to give her?
3. What can I give her for snack?
Sigh. Thanks everyone.
Stressin in ATL,
I am interested to hear the answers too, I am in the same situation.
Thank you! :D
07-14-2008, 09:48 PM
The hardest part is the time. It's time or money that's got to give. I stay at home with two boys (18 mo and almost 3) and I feel like I am constantly working on preparing food and cleanup. To save money, I do a lot of sprouting and grow wheatgrass to juice. Cheap produce includes cases of oranges, bananas, and carrots, plus the big Costco boxes of organic greens and spinach. Currently watermelon is dirt cheap too. I regularly make almond/walnut milk, flax crackers or essene breads and always have a pate or hummus on hand. I also make homemade saurkraut several quarts per batch which the kids have as a side dish every day with lunch or dinner. In the freezer I always have a homemade version of lara bars made from nuts/seeds and dried fruits. Cheapest is sesame/pumpkin/sunflower with raisins/dates.
Breakfast lately is a meusli I prep the night before, made from quinoa, oats, seeds, and raisins soaked in nut milk (just for DH and kids - I like smoothies more). Snack is fresh juice or green smoothie mid-morning. A typical lunch or dinner would be: flax crackers/bread spread with hummus, saurkraut, carrot sticks, and fruit. Or a blender soup. I eat huge salads with sprouts and my 3-year-old is starting to eat salads too. If he's still hungry after the meal he asks for a "cookie" or slices of "frozen nanas" or raisins. After naptime the boys get almond milk vita-mixed with cocoa or cinnamon and stevia. On the weekends i might make a recipe of Alissa's like the mango pie I just made that lasts several meals.
My older son is going to preschool this fall for 2 days a week and I will be packing his lunch. I admit to being worried that he'll discover junk and feel odd but obviously it's worth it. The program guide says to pack a veggie, fruit, protein/sandwich, and only one item like chips or cookies :-) so I guess we'll be good to go. I have a stainless sippy that's 12 oz that I'll fill with water.
07-14-2008, 10:00 PM
My son (18 Months) is in daycare as well and I have made Zuccini spaghetti for him. Today I made him a salad with oranges and jicama, and some cookies that did not need to be dehydrated. They consited of raw soaked almonds, coconut, raisins, and a little vanilla you may even add a little raw honey for a little sweeter taste. I chopped all of it in a food processor and just made them into little balls and chilled them. He also had some banana applesauce and a sandwhich with some raw almond butter. You can maybe try some strawberries instead of the jelly. He ate all of it and unfortunately it was not enough.:)
07-14-2008, 11:01 PM
My son never went for the prepared stuff when he first started out. He was happy with just fruit and veggies and the desserts. And of course green smoothies. The smoothie takes care of breakfast.
I would make pizza and all this elaborate stuff and he would just turn his nose up. Summer is the best time to start. I just throw some cherries in a bowl and he is happy. He was under weight so I was worried he needed more fat in his diet. I made alot of "lara bars". We called them that but we are too poor to buy the actual lara bars. It just nuts with dates processed in the food processor. He still loves them. He is hooked on the cashew one. It tastes like cookie dough. I make up a huge batch of that so he can always grab some when he is hungry.
It has been so much easier for him than it was for me. He doesn't have years and years of bad eating habits to overcome.
He now like more things. He likes spicy kim chi which I am surprised about. It's just cabbage, carrots, onions and ginger that has been fremented. I buy this raw kind from the store. But I have to make time to make it myself because it's hella expensive. He likes salad now. I put cold pressed olive oil on it so he gets his extra fat and also helps with the nutrient absorption.
I just want to emphasize that you can keep it simple for them and they will be just fine. Especially if they see that you are eating raw too. When I couldn't do raw and broke down and had cooked I used to hide in my room so he wouldn't see. Silly..I know.
It's been a year now. He is no longer underweight and hardly sick. If he gets sick ..he gets over it fast.
Hope this helps.
07-15-2008, 10:32 PM
Zella, I want to send my kids to your preschool when it get's going! What a beautiful dream...
Jenna, being a single mom would probably drive me crazy because my boys are high energy and I get an hour to talk to an adult every evening, but the one advantage is you don't have a man to prepare elaborate meals for. Mine isn't raw but eats healthy, mostly vegetarian, but I need to fix him breakfast and a separate dinner and pack his lunch every day. And since he's gone from 6am to 7pm he doesn't do any work in the house. Maybe after your child goes to bed you can put the radio on in the kitchen and put in a couple hours in the evening. I do that a couple times a week while laundry is drying so I can prep food, empty dishwasher, and take care of my little sprout garden :-)
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