what’s for breakfast? what’s for lunch? can I have a snack? what can I have?

Used to be, in days of yore, I would hear these questions more times each day than I was years old. Not long ago, I stumbled upon the idea of writing it all down. We have a small girl who is just now saying some good words and a big girl who uses LOTS of words. I decided to meet them in the middle and create this list so that their questions and their bellies would be sated more often than not and my mind would be free (well, who are we kidding here, almost free) of the constant barrage of food related questions.
The idea is this: create a list of foods which are usually available in your home and from which the kids might choose their meal from. I think of it as a menu and they pick one item each from two columns for whatever their need is currently: snack, lunch, etc. Ours hangs on the refrigerator, not very ceremoniously but highly useful and visible.

Our list has four columns: Fresh, Dairy, Grains, Protein. These are what made the most sense for us, and seem to work well for the menu idea. It works really well when everyone is going in a different direction (weekday mornings) or going in the same direction but hungry at different times (weekends).  Not all items are available all the time but it helps to put them up there to remind us of what we like to make (donuts) and what we might need to buy (peanut butter).

We have all really benefited from this list. Mornings are calmer, big sister is more independent (and confident) in her food choices and I am more organized with what we need to have on hand to feed our sweet bugs!

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