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The Seven-Meal-a-Day Plan

True Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Dad

November 2013

"Seven Meals a Day" – that's the name I've given to the meal and snack plan my kids are on. As a stay at home dad, I'm the meal planner, grocery shopper, cook, server and bus boy for all of it. And our days aren't broken down into hours, they are segmented into meals.

On many mornings, the only reason I keep track of the day is so I know what to make for breakfast: Oatmeal Monday, French Toast Tuesday, Waffle Wednesday and so on. Not long after breakfast, it's time for a morning snack – GoGo Applesauce in the pouch. What started off as a snack to pack in my daughter's lunch has turned into an obsession for my youngest two kids. Thankfully Costco sells them in bulk, because a package of six just doesn't cut it. After morning snack we usually run some errands. My kids have convinced me they cannot exist in the car unless they are chowing down on raisins and Cheerios. They also get suckers at several stops: Trader Joe's, the bank and mom's work.

After errands, it's lunch time. There are many lunch choices at the beginning of the week (deli meat, fruit, chips and cheeses) but by the end of the week, there's only one choice – PBJ.

After nap, it's time for afternoon snack. This is when the kids clean out the cupboards, eating oatmeal, sandwiches, cereal and all fruit that's in the house. Many times it's the largest meal of the day and often continues right up until dinner.

At dinner, if they're still hungry, the kids are pretty good about eating whatever it is I serve, even if it is tofu pad thai. My son walks around the house eating basil from the herb garden so I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

Which brings us to the day's final meal, after dinner snack. By this time, the kitchen is clean and I'm tired so my kids have learned that their only options at this point are spoonfuls of peanut butter and some milk. The night usually ends at our house by me saying, "All right kids, the kitchen is closed!" Until tomorrow, when we will do it all over again.

Happy Parenting!


Tags: In This Issue, Parenting

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