I (Amy) have NEVER been a meal planner before all of this. Once the hunger started kicking in around 5:00pm, I'd start perusing our cabinets & refrigerator to see what I could pull together for the evening meal.
But leave it to having a daughter whose body needs to get every good nutrient possible and stay away from so many particular foods in order to heal, it's forced quite the lifestyle change for ALL 3 of us! And as tough as it's been, it's definitely been for the better for all of our health, I'm sure.
And now that we're past the 2 month mark, things are feeling more "normal" with the diet. It doesn't feel quite as restrictive or stressful as it did the first month. Perhaps the question people ask me the most after "how is the diet going" is "are you and Marc also going gluten-free?" To which I usually scrunch up my nose and give a big resounding "NO!" But as I've thought about it, the real answer is somewhere in between a yes and a no. Since we're a family who places alot of value on eating our evening meals together around a table, it would be cruel for us to be pigging out on warm & wonderful dinner rolls while our 2 year old begs and pleads for one she doesn't understand she can't have. So while Marc & I aren't totally gluten, dairy, & soy free, the menus for all of us are definitely changing.
So here's how it typically works around our house at dinners now in any given week: (I don't know if this will be remotely interesting to you guys or not)
Monday: (is what we call "Family Night" where our RUF intern, Elizabeth, joins our family each Mon. night for a home-cooked dinner. Thankfully she's been fabulously accepting of all of our dietary changes!)
We ALL eat something like baked or grilled salmon, brown rice, fresh steamed broccoli, a salad with chopped fresh vegetables in it and fresh fruit for dessert
Tuesday: (is typically my "crockpot" day since I have music practice for church to lead on Tues. evenings)
We ALL eat something like a roast/potatoes/carrots in the crockpot OR chili (except we doctor ours up with cheese, sour cream, etc. & she eats it plain) OR a pork tenderloin, etc. You get the idea...
Wednesday: (is our only free weeknight as a family together)
We ALL eat something like chicken stir-fry with lots of fresh chopped vegetables & more fresh fruit for dessert. I make Caroline's food first & set aside before I add the sauce/seasoning to our food.
Thursday: (is RUF night during the semester, so we're usually somewhat pushed for time)
We may eat something simple like a salad & spaghetti (Prego's italian Sauce is gluten-free so we can all eat that, but I'll boil some gluten-free spaghetti noodles for Caroline & regular ones for us). I also found some gluten-free breadsticks that she LOVES, so we can all enjoy breadsticks with our meal-- ours just happen to be FULL of gluten. :)
Friday & Saturday & Sunday: (weekends are always different.)
If we're visiting friends, we'll just pack a separate dinner for Caroline. (either leftovers from a previous meal or something easy like a rice cake with peanut butter on it-- she LOVES her "crunchy rice cakes!")
If we want to order a pizza, I'll make Caroline her own mini-pizza on a gluten-free crust without cheese. That way, we're all eating pizza together & there are no complaints!
If we go out to eat, we are learning where we can go & what we can get for her there. (but it's definitely toughest to go out.)
If we want to eat ice cream as a family, Marc & I will eat the regular stuff & Caroline will eat her own chocolate Purely Decadent ice cream. (it's made with coconut milk)
And when you have those times where you've just GOTTA let your kid be a kid, check out the allergen-free french fries in the shapes of letters that we just got! I know, I know... it's silly how excited I got when I saw those! :)
Here's where I could use some more brainstorming from you guys--- any ideas or recipes for some healthy snacks or b-fast foods that really pack in the nutrition that she'll also love, too? (besides the obvious fresh fruits & veggies) For instance, is there something I can cook a big batch of at once & then just pull individual servings of it out of the freezer? Other ideas for super healthy homemade snacks (without dairy or gluten or soy)?? Throw 'em my way. Thanks!!!