Blending Healthy Families: Transition Meals
Welcome to the Blending Healthy Families Blog!
This week we’re touching on transition meals. That meal that you have to feed your kids when they are moving from one house to another.
My name is Tricia and I am a foodie. My husband and I enjoyed going out to new restaurants when we were dating. I enjoy trying new recipes and fun foods both at home and with my clients. I enjoy learning new ways to cook different ingredients until it is just the way I like it. I enjoy stretching my limits when it comes to spice to see how far I can go before I break a sweat. I enjoy cooking for people and hosting parties.
So I’m sure you can gather how big of a disappointment it was to find out that my stepkids were picky eaters. Not only would they say “I don’t like that” but have the “I only eat this” mentality. Like - legit - the kids’ mom once told me she went to 3 different grocery stores to find the right kind of cheese for one of my stepsons.
Now pair that with us being the house that has less food influence and it could be a recipe for disaster.
Today, I’m focusing on ONE meal that tends to be the worst: The transition meal.
First, remember, these kids have a lot to say to you. It has been any number of days since they last talked face to face and a lot of life happens to them. Transition times are great times to take the focus off everything else BUT the kids. They should be the center of attention and focus.
But that still doesn’t mean that they run the show. Nutrition and healthy eating are a huge part of development for all children. Having a blended family can’t be an excuse to let that go. As you move into a healthier lifestyle for your blended home, remind the kids this new way of eating is for their good - for their strength, their brains, their blood and their bodies. It is to make them grow stronger and smarter. Food should never be used as an ultimatum... “Eat or you’ll be tiny forever.”
Secondly, make sure there is communication with the other house about who is in charge of feeding the kids. After we got our new schedule with the kids, we spent a good month wondering if they were coming over fed or not. So, we took the time to make a plan with the other house on who is going to feed them. What we found was that whoever had them at 6pm would feed them. That meant, our pickup days we would feed them, but drop off days, she would.
It helped us to set a precedent that they came into our house and sat down at the table. The first 30-45 minutes of our time with them was together as a family. Then, before we dropped them off we would be rushing and having dinner arguments, we would be spending that quality time with them.
Finally, make it a meal that’s easy for you to make and easy for them to eat. Not everyone has the luxury of having the stepparent stay at home, I get that. We are truly blessed in that fashion. However, the moments that I can’t be there, I don’t want my husband to feel like eating out is the only choice because he doesn’t live up to my standards.
Some of our favorite transition meals include:
- Hot dogs
- Chicken nuggets
- Grilled cheese and ramen
None of these get too in-depth.
Some have rice, noodles or chips as the side.
Most are served with fresh fruits and veggies.
When serving kids in a transition, think simple and colorful.
What is your go-to meal when everything is up in the air?