Weekly menu for the whole family with kindergarten-age children to make life easier

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Marie-Ange Demory
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A weekly menu for children going to kindergarten

Meals should be a convivial moment and relaxing, at least in theory. In practice, especially for those with kindergarten-age children, organize themselves in the kitchen to accommodate everyone's needs and juggle the various moods it could become very demanding (and at times stressful).





But everything can be solved if you have a plan: the dott.ssa Angela , nutritionist biologist ofICANS (International Center of Assessment of Nutritional Status of the University of our city), gives us some tips to set up a weekly menu suitable for the whole family if there are kindergarten-age children.

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In this article

  • School menu: the track to start from 
  • How many times a week to eat meat, fish and legumes?
  • Children and adults: how meals change
  • How to simplify dinner with children
  • Caprices at dinner: what if it was the fault of the snack? 
  • Aperitif for children
  • Tricks to simplify meal management
  • Weekly menu for the whole family
Read also: The ideal menu for lunch and dinner

School menu: the track to start from

«To avoid proposing the same thing twice, you can consult the kindergarten menu and plan dinner based on that. It's definitely a great one tool to use as starting point for the whole family»Remembers Dr.



“Based on what the baby ate at lunch and the frequency of consumption of protein sources will then decide what to eat for dinner. Better plan meals, so you can make one targeted spending and that mum and dad can choose adequately for their lunch, based on what they know will be waiting for them in the evening ».

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How many times a week to eat meat, fish and legumes?

Whether for children or adults, there are general indications on how many times a week to eat meat, fish, eggs and legumes. «It should be included in your diet at least 3 portions of fish a week and 3 or 4 of legumes. The meat it should be eaten in 2 or 3 of the 14 meals, while the sliced (or processed meats) should be limited to once per week. Regarding eggs and cheeses, can be consumed respectively twice each, remembering that 2 eggs are a complete portion »summarizes the nutritionist biologist.

Children and adults: how meals change

«Both from a practical and an educational point of view it is important that all family members eat the same thing". In fact, preparing a single dish for dinner simplifies life, because it reduces the time spent in the kitchen.

However, some precautions must be taken into account: «The portions of adults and children they are completely different quantitatively, but not qualitatively. In particular, children need a lower intake of proteins ».

Read also: Feeding children, 4 rules for healthy eating

How to simplify dinner with children

«If you have children between 3 and 5 years I usually recommend to dine with a single dishThe expert reveals. "It's about a practical and quick solution and allows you to avoid whims, because the children are tired and cannot sit at the table for a three-course meal, which becomes tiring for them to consume. You can bring the classic to the table soup with cheese, a pasta with legumes or a second with bread».

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Recipes to do with children

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Caprices at dinner: what if it was the fault of the snack?

A frequently occurring problem is the whims, related to loss of appetite, at dinner. «Often the solution lies in the correct management of the snack, which is usually done in kindergarten before going out, then with the grandmother who went to pick up the child and then with the friend met at the park.

If I realize that a child needs about 1500 kcal a day, two or three snacks - which are rarely the classic fruit - are far too much for a kindergarten child. If you have dinner around 19pm, it should be done a single snack around 16pm, avoiding snacks as much as possible: they are very palatable, as much as they are caloric, but with little satiating power, so much so that one may not be enough. The healthy alternatives are maybe a small sandwich with ham or chocolate, but also something salty like gods crackers or breadsticks with pieces of Parmesan cheese».

Read also: Snacks to take to school and to the office, healthy and practical ideas

Aperitif for children

Sometimes a snack is not enough or while dinner is being prepared the little one of the house buzzes around us while we prepare dinner complaining of a pit in the stomach. The solution could be a aperitif with the whole family.

The expert recommends "nibble on carrots, fennel, celery or cherry tomatoes, perhaps with one or two walnuts or a few cubes of Parmesan cheese (10-20 g). Mum and dad could add a seasoned tomato juice, a kind of non-alcoholic Bloody Mary ». What if there is a lot of hunger? "It's fine to give the classic piece of bread to the child, but then maybe it's better to avoid him at dinner ».

Tricks to simplify meal management

"To facilitate the organization of meals, it is perfectly fine to resort to some shortcuts. THE vegetable Yes they can buy in a jar or, even better, in a glass jar, as you can use frozen raw materials o prepare extra portions some recipes to keep in the freezer.

For sure everyone sharing the same meal, made up of the same dishes - but in quantities suited to needs - is the most valid help, even from a practical point of view: the parent remains a model and the child is led to eat what he sees his mother and father eat " .

Read also: Mom, shall we make a cupcake?

Weekly menu for the whole family

Here is an example of weekly menu for the whole family with kindergarten-age children, to make life easier: what do we have for dinner? 

Monday: Chicken and apple meatballs, salad, bread

Tuesday: Faux cod pasta (with hake and fennel), carrot chips

Wednesday: Chickpea soup

Thursday: Omelette with spinach, potatoes and steamed broccoli

Friday: Homemade fish fingers, fennel in salads

Saturday: Pizza

Sunday: Lentil burger and salad

Read also: Children: how to have a snack correctly?

Questions and answers

How to make children eat vegetables?

To convince children to eat vegetables, you can change the shape of the food: this can make it more appetizing and fun, so green light for carrot butterflies, zucchini hearts and cute little animals!

What are the best recipes to prepare together with the whole family? 

You can involve the children in the preparation of food: let the children work together with you, dividing the tasks to complete and make the chosen recipe.

TAG:
  • nursery
  • school canteen
  • healthy nutrition
  • child diet
  • 3-5 children years
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