For the last few weeks, I've been following Mashup Mom's Aldi Meal Plan. It's worked really well for our family! It takes the guesswork out of recipes for me, and my husband likes that it's easy on our budget. Of course, I'm not just feeding two reasonable adults. I'm also feeding a shockingly voracious 9-month-old and a 2.5 year old. The toddler, no surprise to anyone, is a picky eater. While I have a vested interest in getting my kid to eat, I don't want to live off of frozen pizza and chicken nuggets. That diet certainly wouldn't fuel two growing kids, even if it seems to be the only diet that my older kid wants to eat.
Mealtime might be the only thing more contentious than The Slide Question. Perhaps you feed your kids organic foods, or eat vegetarian meals as a family. If they refuse to eat, you might offer a favorite alternative. Or, if you're a mean mom like me, you tell them they can eat their food or go without. I'm not here to tell you which to adopt for your own family. Rather, I'm providing context for what I mean by "toddler-friendly".
My toddler’s meal plan would look quite a bit different from the one I put together. Breakfast: “Kek!” (Cake) Lunch: “EETZAH” (Pizza) Dinner: “Fwies and Kickun!” (Fries and Chicken).
Luckily for his vitamin and mineral requirements, I enjoy eating vegetables. One of my favorite puzzles is figuring out how to get my toddler to enjoy whole foods. My friend Maria is great at hiding veggies in food. Sometimes I like to sneak them in, but the stubborn part of me wants my kid to like them in their original form. That’s probably wishful thinking, but a mama can dream, right?
So with the following criteria: toddler-friendly, mama-friendly, and based on what I have in my freezer and pantry, I set out to build a meal plan for the week. My goal is to feed everyone lunch and dinner through Saturday without needing to buy any takeout or fast food. One minor snag: my husband and toddler have both been sick since Friday. Normally I’d only have one soup on the menu, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make some from-scratch chicken noodle soup.
Chicken Noodle Soup. This timeless classic is so simple to throw together. Sautee some mirepoix to help the flavors and seasonings bloom. Add chicken broth, shredded chicken (rotisserie chickens are AWESOME for this!), and simmer for 30 minutes. Add egg noodles and cook for 6 minutes. I usually serve up the noodles, veggies, and chicken and leave the broth part for the adults. Both my kids devoured this soup today!
Chicken Stir-Fried Rice. With just a little bit of prep work, this is an easy one-pan recipe. Well, two - if you consider that you have to make the rice the day before.
Roasted Whole Chicken with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Bacon Green Beans. So simple, and yet such a stunning main course when done well. Can you tell I had a lot of chicken in my freezer?
Pepperoni Pizza Kale Soup. This is one of the first Mashup Mom recipes I tried and it’s a hit with everybody! I like that it’s a lower-carb way to enjoy all the heartiness of a cheesy slice of ‘za.
General Tso’s Chicken with Broccoli. This one couldn’t be easier - add rice, a zucchini side, and flavor with a bottle of Aldi’s General Tso’s marinade. Gotta love the convenience!
What’s on your meal plan this week? Would your toddler eat any of these delicious meals? Tell me about your picky eater on Twitter @pi3sugarpi3.