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  • Writer's pictureKat Lord

Making Meat-Free Mondays Work for Your Busy Family: Tips and Meal Ideas



In light of the BBC article about Surrey Schools starting to do Meat-Free Mondays in order to "cut emissions and help children keep a healthy weight"

I would argue there is MORE TO creating meal plan routines than that. Not only does it reduce costs and waste, it makes life easier too.


Planning your week

Labelling the days means you always know which protein your meal idea will be based on. This takes away the stress of not knowing what to make everyday and reduces the amount of options. I also advise to do the same with carb options as well as trying to eat a rainbow of fruit and vegetables-this encourages gut diversity as within each week, you get a variety within your meal plan.


Meat- Free Mondays

"Try-it" with Chicken Tuesdays

Meat Wednesdays

Cheese Thursdays

Fish Fridays


"Try it" Tuesdays means you encourage your children to try new food items, ingredients or recipes within a positive environment, so they can try without being forced to eat it knowing they have food they already love, will eat and gives them the nutritional value they need.


In this blog, we will focus on Meat- Free Mondays.


Meat-Free Meal Ideas that they will actually eat


It actually started many years ago when I first started nannying, as I was responsible for all the meals Monday through Friday. Mondays were chaotic because there were several mountains of laundry from the weekend, food I had put aside for Monday was gone and what was available in the fridge was sparing. With Monkey Music and after-school clubs, time was precious so Pesto Pasta Mondays which moved to being Meat-free Mondays was born. I quickly learnt to batch cook on the other days to free up time and my meal plan was my saving grace. B2 and I had a little routine of food shopping, trying all the free sushi and samples as we walked around and his nap time, I became a culinary genius.


As well as Pesto Pasta, the meals that were the biggest hits were and still are several families in:


Omelettes

Jacket Potatoes with beans or cheese

Quiche

Pasta with a vegetarian sauce (Tomato and Mascarpone for the win)

Tomato Soup

Cheese Toasties


More adventurous meal ideas that have been a hit are:

Stuffed capsicum (peppers)

Sweet potato based home-made pizzas

Chilli non carne

Halloumi cous cous


As you may have noticed, I love doing Cheese Thursdays, so meal ideas that feature cheese more would fit there perfectly.


All the time providing at least two vegetables and a fruit after tea.


They key is to fitting the meal idea in based on who will eat it and the time you have. If it is something like Chilli non carne, on the day that I make the meat version, I would make two and freeze portions labelled with green for the vegetarian version and red for the meat version. It is also hugely about balance. Reducing the amount of processed foods and making sure we get protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fibre and dairy.


For example, in a family of three, where one doesn't like cheese, I will prioritise a cheese dish for when they are out at a club and need a meal at a different time anyway. I also prioritise meals that can easily be reheated for those days too.



I organise rooms and routines with children in mind and in my third book, More to Mealtimes, I bring learning to life through food and make mealtimes easier by involving the whole family and empowering your children with the life skills they need to have a balanced outlook on food.



It is just £11.99 and is available on Amazon.



I also do workshops on how to give our children the fine motor skills and the confidence to cook and so much more in the home. Nurseries and Parent Groups can hire me for £100 an hour. (As seen at Clean and Tidy Home Show, Childcare and Education show and The Ideal Home Show)






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