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When planning meals becomes an educational family activity!

Giving our children good eating habits is a way of preserving their good health and ensuring that they will preserve it themselves in the future. Both the way we plan our meals and our "food" shopping habits have a big influence on what our children will develop. The example is much stronger than all the long explanations and lessons that we can give to our little ones!
In short, it all comes down to the supermarket basket, because if parents themselves do not have healthy eating habits, that is, a varied and balanced diet, there is little (if any) chance that children will develop one on their own.
That's the theory!
But in practice, it is not so easy to plan meals and ensure that they are sufficiently healthy and varied. Not to mention that we want to avoid waste and put on the menu meals that will please everyone! A good way to do this is to be conscientious when it comes to writing the famous weekly grocery list. It was created for you (and for us!) a "grocery list" notebook, which will not only make things easier for you, but also you will also ensure that everything you put on the menu is healthy and varied. This list and the family planner it's definitely a winning combination!
 
The list, divided into food groups (much like the grocery shelves), will save you valuable time when shopping. By stopping zigzagging through the maze of groceries, you'll be able to avoid buying a bunch of stuff you didn't need! A section of this list will help you plan your meals according to various categories (an empty recipe-fridge, one or two fish meals, a chicken meal, a vegetarian meal, etc.) but also to think about desserts and snacks of the week.
Finally, Les Belles Combines has not forgotten your role as parent educator! You can involve children in the development of the menu. Because spending time with your child can and should go through the little daily activities so rich in learning. So we have included a section for the little ones that consists of a check list that will allow them to check if your menu of the week is varied enough. Why not ask your child to be the auditor! He should check the list and see if there is enough variety.  Are there fruits and vegetables of all colors? Nuts? Whole grains? Make sure there are at least two meals they like. Children love to be involved in decisions, and you will see that when they feel included in this kind of process they are less likely to curse in front of their plate!
With the older ones, we can begin to model how we plan the meals of the week. Planning a meal of the week when you're 12 or older can be a fun and formative exercise. Not every week of course, but once or twice to try it out.  This will allow them to understand the magnitude of this task and, perhaps, they will be a little more understanding and a little less capricious about what is on the menu afterwards. To help you guide them through this task, here are the 4 steps that we systematically do when we are in the middle of the planning session.
The grocery list in 4 steps:
  1. Check if there are any meals left in your refrigerator and put them on the menu first.
  2. Check for fresh foods to eat and plan an empty-fridge meal.
  3. Think about your schedule.Check your planner to see if there are any planned events that may influence your meal choices.
  4. Plan your weekly meals and make your grocery list.
To conclude, here are five tips from Michael Pollan, journalist and author of the book the rules of healthy eating :
  1. Avoid products with more than five ingredients. The more ingredients a packaged food contains, the more likely it is to be processed.
  2. Eat real food. Choose only foods that will rot.
  3. Become omnivorous. Eating meat three times a week is enough.
  4. Eat all the junk food you want as long as you prepare it yourself. French fries, cakes, chips! You're not likely to consume it every day.
  5. Break the rules!  We should not demonize fatty and sweet foods but learn to eat them moderately.  This notion of Casual Pleasure must be retained.
 

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