“Real Food Meets Reality” Menu Plan: January 25-31

"Real Food Meets Reality" Menu Plan

A major key to eating healthier and saving money is meal planning. When I plan my meals, I feel less stress throughout the week, spend less time and money at the grocery store, and usually serve my family a fairly well-rounded diet throughout the week. My hope is that my mostly “real food” meal plans each Saturday will help you do the same!

Dinner

Sunday: Homemade Chicken Nuggets*, mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli, Crock Pot Cinnamon Apples

*Double the nugget recipe and use leftover chicken to top the Cobb Salad on Tuesday night.

Monday10 Minute Tortilla Soup, chips/raw veggies with Creamy Avocado Dip, grapes

TuesdayChicken Cobb Salad, fruit salad (Note: For picky eaters, serve the salad ingredients separately.)

Wednesday: Breakfast for dinner: Baked Oatmeal*, scrambled eggs, pear slices

*Double and freeze the extras as a Freezer Meal for the future.

Thursday: Leftovers/clean out the fridge night

FridaySlow Cooker Whole Wheat Spinach Lasagna, Wheat Rolls, green beans, apple slices

Saturday: Pork Tenderloin with Seasoned Rub, Oven Fries, steamed baby carrots, mixed berries

Breakfast Ideas:

Banana Brownie Waffles

Baked Egg Cups (maybe on whole wheat English muffins)

Breakfast Cookies*

*Double and freeze the extras as a Freezer Meal for the future.

Snacks:

Powerball Cookies

banana boats (hollow out like a canoe and fill with peanut/almond butter or cream cheese)

frozen peas (seriously…my kids love these)

Free Printable Menu Planner

Here’s an easy way to get started on saving money and eating healthier–download our free printable menu planner!

menu planner

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The 14 Best Hands-On Educational Toys We Own

14 best educational toys Every year around Christmas and my kids’ birthdays, I find myself asking friends what toys have the most lasting play value in their homes. And I scour blogs and websites for reviews of the best learning toys. I’m always on the hunt to fill our small toy closet with the very best toys and other items to encourage my kids to interact with one another, stretch their imaginations, challenge their fine and/or large motor skills, develop spatial skills, and much more.

So, for those of you who find yourself thinking similarly, I figured I’d share a bit about the best educational toys for preschool and early elementary children that we own. The following 14 toys  continue to have staying power and learning value for both the boys (ages 4 and almost 8) and the girl (age 6) in my house. All three children consistently pull them out of the closet, using their imaginations in incredible ways as they play by themselves or together. And, you may just be surprised at how simple and cheap some of these suggestions are.

Money-Saving Tip: Look for the (*) items below at garage sales and on Facebook resale groups and you’ll get them for a fraction of the price. That’s how I’ve purchased many of them over the years.

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Seven Things I Swore I’d Never Do as a Parent

7 Things copyI knew so much more about parenting before I had children. Yes friends, I had it all figured out. I knew the type of mom I’d be, the type of kids I’d raise, the type of foods we eat, the countless learning activities we would do together and so on.

I babysat quite a bit and thought I had gleaned loads of parental wisdom in the hours I had spent in various homes. Yes friends, I was ready.

And then I had children.

As any seasoned parent knows, things don’t go quite as planned. We love our little ones, yes we do. But turns out they aren’t perfect and neither are we. Dang. I find it humorous to look back at pre-kid Polly and reminisce a bit about my parenting expectations. I’m sure most of you parents out there can relate.

Just a quick note- I’m putting a lot of my cards on the table as a mom. Poking fun at my failings and such. I’m not expecting everyone to agree with how we parent our kids. In fact, I don’t agree with the way we parent our kids sometimes! Haha. I know there are some feisty mamas out there who love to share their opinions on what I should or shouldn’t do. Another time, another post, k?

Moving on… Here are a few goodies that I swore I’d never do as a parent…

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