picky eaters

How to handle picky eaters

My household is filled with picky eaters, especially right now. My husband likes to eat a Paleo diet and says that it isn’t dinner if it doesn’t have meat. McKenna, well she’s a toddler #enoughsaid. And lately I am even picky! Due to my pregnancy I have been having food aversions all over the place. I’m trying to figure out how to balance all of our food needs right now and here is what I have come up with so far.

It may seem a bit dramatic to put it this way…. but I gotta feed me first. It’s sort of like putting the air mask on myself first in a plane crash. When I’m not pregnant food is whatever to me. When I’m pregnant I HAVE TO HAVE FOOD OR ELSE. It’s a really big deal that I eat when I need to and that I get the protein and other nutrients necessary. What I do is make sure that I stock up on some quick proteins that aren’t disgusting to me currently (greek yogurt, some protein bars, protein powder that I mix in smoothies, peanut butter, hardboiled eggs and a few others). Having these quick foods is really helpful when you are super busy… and on days when you are just plain super exhausted from being pregnant. I eat far more of these types of food than I’d like to admit but I’m doing my best.  When I have more energy I will make myself bean and cheese burritos or if I can muster eating meat I will heat up leftovers from the night before.

The good news is that because I have so many aversions and I’m sticking to those quick foods I can get food to the others much quicker as well. McKenna is picky in a way where I really have to play some mind games. She loves almost all food, she really does. However, sometimes she decides that “it’s too hot,” “it’s too spicy” or my favorite “I don’t like it right now”. Ugh. Kids are crazy. It’s a good thing they are cute. Generally, I will start by giving her two protein options both of which she usually likes because protein is the hardest thing to get her to eat.  After she eats that I will offer up fruit, veggies, etc. She happens to love her fruits and veggies so those are pretty easy to get her to gobble up. If she eats all of that I will give her a treat of sorts, like fruit snacks or crackers.  When she eats like this it’s a good day. There are also days where she refuses to eat anything but O’s (cheerios) but she is figuring out that I’m just as (or more) stubborn than she is. After some soul searching mommy always wins 🙂

Brandon is the pickiest of us all. He tries to stick to a Paleo diet (if you aren’t sure what that is – here is a great resource).  Because the two biggest restrictions of this diet are dairy and carbs we (the diet and I) have a hard time getting along for the long term. In order to keep up with his mostly Paleo lifestyle we make simple lunches ahead of such as “a dump” – which we named because we just put ground meat and anything else that we think would taste good in it to bulk it up. We almost always add mushrooms, jalepenos, greens, garlic, etc. We change up the seasoning each time so that he doesn’t get bored with it. Otherwise we cook up chicken and a veggie and call it good. For dinners we have found some favorite Paleo meals that I enjoy as well. Because I save them in my Paprika app it’s easy to see which recipes are Paleo and then skim for the ones that we have rated highly.

Dinner is by far the hardest to accommodate us all but the preparation ahead of time to ensure that we all have some food available helps a lot. There are nights where I make a meal and although I usually like it, I just can’t. I blame the baby in my belly. Those nights my tummy is usually in charge and I eat whatever it says, even if it’s pizza rolls, ha! There are also nights where I can’t even begin to look at a piece of meat and Brandon needs to cook, eat leftovers or one of the lunches we’ve cooked ahead of time. McKenna generally eats most food we make for dinner but she definitely eats the most in the morning and the least at night. I’m comfortable with it since I know what and how much she eats during the day.

So, the key is flexibility and preparation. Honestly, that’s all it takes. Sometimes it’s hard to get stuff ready ahead of time but when we do everyone gets fed and enjoys it!

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paprika2

Paprika Review – Part 2 Organization and Categorization

 This series is all about getting dinner on the table and making it as easy as possible. That’s the way I roll. Some people call it lazy, I call it smart ;-). If you missed the first part I have it linked below. I also listed out what I’m going to be covering thereafter.

  • How to add a recipe to the Paprika app
  • How to organize recipes in Paprika app – including categorization
  • How to utilize the grocery list aspect of the Paprika app
  • How to meal plan within the Paprika app
  • Misc features of the Paprika app (if I can fit them into the previous four posts I will)

I cannot begin to describe how much I love this app. I really despise cooking, and anything that makes it easier for me I am all about.

Also, as I mentioned in the last post, this is not a sponsored post. I just really love it. I’m sharing it in the hopes that it can help out more than just myself!

Let’s start off with organizing your recipes and figuring out how to categorize them. As you can see I have 533 recipes saved so far in my Paprika app. If you look along the left hand side you will see a few different parts. It starts off with the top 5: All Recipes, Most Recent, Top Rated, Favorites and Uncategorized. These I will cover after I talk about your organization options.

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If you look below the 5 standard “categories” you will see that I added 4 overall categories. These can be created for however YOU cook. I generally look for a recipe based on the type of diet (have I mentioned how my hubby loves diets?!), or how easy/hard it is to make. Occasionally I have a craving for a “type” of food such as chinese, mexican, etc. Anyhow, I created these categories because they work for me. I will show within each category how I sub-categorize. The only one that I don’t have sub categories for is the house cleaners section since it’s only used for that.

First is my diet category. I have Keto, Paleo, Sugar Free and Whole 30 sub categories since those are the most common diets that we try to follow. I should add a carbalicious diet! That’s my kind of diet….

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Next, we have the sub category of “food type/when” This is basically anything that I might search for as far as a type goes. Breakfast? I got you. Dessert? Even better. I also listed homemade spice/condiments, casseroles, indian, italian – you get the idea. This just helps me get to what I need as quickly and with as little brain power as possible.

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The last category I created is a Time category. What do I mean by time? Well I really should go through and clean this one up so that it’s more clear but here’s what I use it for…. I like to know how something is cooked (crockpot, stove top, oven baked, no heat, DCB which is deep covered baker, etc). This helps me because sometimes I want something more hands off such as a crockpot meal and other times I want to know that I can get ingredients together and just throw it in the oven. The other big factor for what meal I’m going to make is how much time (both cooking and prep time) that each meal takes. I can always look at a meal individually to see both prep and cook time but it’s easier for me to have these categorized. A few I use are high prep, low prep, marinate me, quick n dirty, less than 30, easy peasy. If I’m being honest with myself this is the area that I look at most often because I’m super lazy when it comes to cooking.

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Besides the categories that I’ve chosen, I also have two other ways that I look for recipes. I look up a lot of recipes by ingredients that I have handy already. It’s pretty self explanatory but you can see in the pictures that you can search at the very top of the page under any category for ingredient or name of recipe.

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One of my favorite things about this app is the top rated option that is listed on the left hand side. Within each recipe I can rate it between 1-5 stars and I can also make notes! Below you will see the biscuits and gravy casserole I made for Father’s Day. We had a few notes on how it could be improved but still loved it!

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As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, you can choose your own categories. Whatever makes YOUR life easier is what you should use. These are what I use and it works really well for me, but every family is different so think about what you need and make it happen!

Next time we grocery shop!

 

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paprika final

Paprika Review – Part 1

  Have you ever used the Paprika app? No clue what it is? Well, you’re in luck! This is one of my favorite ever apps, and that’s saying a lot considering it means I have to cook. I will never say that meal planning is my favorite thing to do… it ranks pretty low on my excitement range BUT this app has made my life a whole lot easier so I don’t dread it nearly as much. That earns an A+ in  my book.

  First things first, this is not a sponsored post. I just really love it. Second, I’m going to break my review into a few pieces because otherwise this would get pretty lengthy. Here is what I’m going to talk about in this post and upcoming posts (in no particular order):

  • How to add a recipe to the Paprika app
  • How to organize recipes in Paprika app – including categorization
  • How to utilize the grocery list aspect of the Paprika app
  • How to meal plan within the Paprika app
  • Misc features of the Paprika app (if I can fit them into the previous four posts I will)

First up I am going to talk about the most important (IMO) part of this app, which is how to add a recipe within the Paprika app.

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  If you look along the left hand side of the app you will see 4 icons near the middle – those are the hub of the app. The little world that is highlighted in blue stands for Browser. This is where you can do a search (just like on a search engine) for a particular food or type of recipe. You can also copy a URL (the full website address) of a recipe that you know you already want to add to your Recipes.

  The recipe you see listed is one that I got from a mini meal plan from Once A Month Meals. I will be reviewing them after I have a chance to use that meal plan.

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  I simply copied the URL from the browser page I had open and then upon entering my Paprika app it tells me that it has detected a URL. Once I hit load it brings up the same browser page but inside the app.

  Now here is the fun part… Once you have the page loaded you should see an area at the bottom where it shows some components of the recipes and a blue Save Recipe button. This is the magical part. On most recipe sites people have their recipes formatted so that Paprika knows what is what. (Name of recipe, Ingredients, etc). Once I click on Save Recipe this comes up:

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 I could just click on the blue Create Recipe button and it will add it to my recipes. At this point I like to customize things a bit by adding in some Categories which makes it easier to find the type of recipe I want right away (right under the Create Recipe button in the upper right). I will talk more about categorization next time!

  If you have any questions let me know!

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