“Real Food Meets Reality” Menu Plan: July 18-24

July 18-24, 2016: A FREE healthy, easy meal plan that the whole family will love every Friday at Thriving Home (thrivinghomeblog.com).

Sponsored by Hy-Vee (Columbia)

How about some recipes that don’t heat up the kitchen this week (via the oven)? That’s what I’m aiming for most nights with the temps reaching upper 90s next week in mid-MO. Enjoy the dog days of summer and all the abundant produce right now! P.S. Need some summer boredom ideas? Here are a bunch to get you started!

P.S. Did you know you can have these menu plans emailed to you to weekly? All you have to do is sign up here.

3 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Family Devotional (Plus 25+ Recommendations!)

Do you know how to tell a good devotional resource from a mediocre or even a bad one? It's important to ask at least three questions before purchasing faith-building devotionals or children's Bibles for your family.

As a children’s ministry staff member at my church for the past 16 years and a mom of three elementary-aged kiddos, I’m always on the look out for great faith-building resources for parents. Devotional books and children’s Bibles for families are a dime a dozen, but they aren’t all created equal.

Today, I want to point you to over 25 great resources, but I think it’s important to ask at least three questions first when reviewing faith-building devotionals, children’s Bibles, or other curriculum for families.

1) Who is the central figure in the stories or devotions?

I’m looking for God-centered, not man-centered devotions. After all, the entire Bible is all about God and his big redemptive plan for his people. I want my kids to see that God is the hero of the Bible and worthy of our trust, not the people in the stories. The Bible isn’t mainly about really spiritual or “good” people (who all happen to be big sinners like us, by the way); it’s about the One whom our lives depend on and should be centered around.

2) How is this devotional motivating us?

I look for grace-driven and Gospel-motivated resources, not merely moralistic, rules-driven ones. Yes, the Bible gives clear instructions about how we should live and those are so important for us to “get”. But, what is it that really motivates us to change on a heart level? Real change happens when we believe the Gospel–that we are sinners in desperate need of a Savior, and Jesus is that Savior sent by God. And real change happens when we begin to trust the promises of God in the Bible (i.e. Jesus has rescued us from our sin, loves us, protects us, has secured an eternal home for us, etc).

3) Is the book engaging for the audience?

Is it well-written? Easy to understand? Do my kids engage with the story/writing? If there are illustrations, are they well-done and reflective of biblical truth?

25+ Family Resource Recommendations

Honestly, materials that hit all three of these marks are kind of hard to find, so I love to share about the ones that I do stumble upon. We’ve shared several few posts over the years about some great faith-building resources (at least 25 or more recommendations here!) for your family that you may want to check out.

Farm Fresh Breakfast Quesadillas {Freezer Meal}

Freezer Friendly, Farm Fresh Breakfast Quesadillas. A simple, kid-friendly, healthy breakfast idea that anyone can make. Kids love that they can be customized and love to help assemble them. Make lots and freeze them for later! Disclaimer: This recipe was created in partnership with Frigidaire Gallery®. But the opinions are all ours! 

My kids are totally on a quesadilla kick. No matter what we put in it, if we put something between two tortillas and call it a quesadilla, it’s a win. Freezer Friendly, Farm Fresh Breakfast Quesadillas. A simple, kid-friendly, healthy breakfast idea that anyone can make. Kids love that they can be customized and love to help assemble them. Make lots and freeze them for later!

In light of the kids’ quesadilla obsession and my continual hunt for easy, healthy, freezable breakfast ideas, a breakfast quesadilla recipe was born.

Freezer Friendly, Farm Fresh Breakfast Quesadillas. A simple, kid-friendly, healthy breakfast idea that anyone can make. Kids love that they can be customized and love to help assemble them. Make lots and freeze them for later!

Here’s the great thing about breakfast quesadillas: they are totally customizable. Each person can pick what they want and don’t want on them which makes fickle, power-hungry children happy. Kids also love to help with the assembly so this is a great way to get them involved in the meal making process.

On this particular morning, we assembled Farm Fresh Quesadillas. The ingredients were simple and things you mostly likely have on hand:

  • eggs
  • ham
  • bacon
  • cheddar cheese
  • spinach

Freezer Friendly, Farm Fresh Breakfast Quesadillas. A simple, kid-friendly, healthy breakfast idea that anyone can make. Kids love that they can be customized and love to help assemble them. Make lots and freeze them for later!

Three secrets you need to know about making breakfast quesadillas:

“Real Food Meets Reality” Menu Plan: July 11-17

July 11-17, 2016: A FREE healthy, easy meal plan that the whole family will love every Friday at Thriving Home (thrivinghomeblog.com).

Sponsored by Hy-Vee (Columbia)

Yes, my menu is super simple. But, hey, it’s summer and I don’t want to spend much time indoors. I love to utilize the grill for a delicious piece of meat and then throw in a vegetable and fruit as the side. This week’s easy meals are healthy and delicious!

P.S. Did you know you can have these menu plans emailed to you to weekly? All you have to do is sign up here.

Mini Turkey and Veggie Meatloaves {Freezer Meal}

These Mini Turkey and Veggie Meatloaves are a kid-favorite and a great way to sneak in extra nutrition!Disclaimer: This recipe was created in partnership with Frigidaire Gallery®. But the opinions are all ours! 

I could eat these super healthy Mini Turkey and Veggie Meatloaves hot or cold, I tell ya. They really aren’t just for kids, although my three children gobbled them up with a side of ketchup tonight. I’m glad I doubled the recipe, so I can freeze half of them for another night. Snaps for #freezermeals, eh?!

These Mini Turkey and Veggie Meatloaves are a kid-favorite and a great way to sneak in extra nutrition! #realfood #freezermeal #healthy

Here’s the other thing: If you have a hard time getting enough vegetables into your family, these mini meatloaves are also a winning way to sneak some extra nutrition in (which you may know I’m a fan of). I would suggest using the food processor to chop the vegetables finely, if you have some suspicious kiddos. Give your munchkins a good squirt of ketchup for dipping purposes and you’re good to go!

These Mini Turkey and Veggie Meatloaves are a kid-favorite and a great way to sneak in extra nutrition! #realfood #freezermeal #healthy

I served our Mini Turkey and Veggie Meatloaves up with a twice baked potato, steamed broccoli, and some strawberries. Want to really hit a homerun when it comes to the sneaky nutrition, though? Try a side of Cream Cheesy Mashed Sweet Potatoes. You’ll have just fed your kids zucchini, carrots, onion, and sweet potatoes in one delicious meal. Boom!