5 WAYS TO AVOID MEAL PLANNING BURNOUT
IF YOU HAVE FOOD ALLERGIES OR EOE
1. Daily Themes
Trying to rack my brain every night on what exactly to make for dinner is a joke sometimes. I have found that planning each day of the week with a theme helps the most. Even better is when I get my kids involved because they are sooooo picky on top of the food allergies and EOE they have. Here is an example of what our daily themes look like: NOTE: They are subject to change around every week.
Monday: Mexican or Casseroles
Tuesday: Taco tuesday- variations
Thursday: American (burgers, hot dogs etc)
Friday: DIY pizza night (varieties of different pizzas)
Saturday: Dad’s Choice- Usually meat on the grill
Sunday: New Recipe day- you can never get too many recipes when dealing with food allergies or EOE. My go to cookbook is “Allergy Free for the EOE (eosinophilic esophagitis) Extraordinary Cooking for the Intense Diet” I put this cookbook together because I had such a difficult time coming up with meals every day. My brain was burned out emotionally and mentally due to my kids food allergies and EOE.
2. Trade off Nights
It really helps me to trade off with my husband during the week. I was blessed with a hubby that doesn’t mind cooking. This hasn’t always been the case for me. I would always do the cooking every night until one day when I had a crying breakdown because I felt so overwhelmed. Ever since, my hubby trades off with me or sometimes cooks every night. If that is isn’t the case for you, relying on the crockpot or Insta pot helps to give you a little break.
3. List of Favorites
Because my kids are so picky on top of the numerous food allergies, It helped me to have a list of their favorites that they would ALL eat. A lot of times I would make something, and out of the 3 kids, 1 would not like it. It is beyond frustrating to me. If they don’t like something then they have to find something to eat on their own. I have learned that I cannot cater to each child separately and cook like “McDonalds made to order” in my house. By cooking everyone something individually, caused me so much stress and frustration. I had to finally set a boundary.
4. Get the Family and Kids Involved
Most days I pick a few things in the theme of the day and have the kids pick between the 2. It gives them a chance to have a say in something or feel more in “control” of what they eat. Because their diet is so limited, they get frustrated and cry or yell because they can’t have something they love.
5. Have the kids prepare a meal
I just started giving this a try. With parent supervision, All three kids pick something they all agree on (if they can’t agree, then I take over and pick something whether they like it or not) in the theme of the day. They actually do pretty good working together most times. Usually they pick taco Tuesday because it is easy and all 3 will eat it. It does help that my kids are almost 14, 11 and 8. If you have littles, then still having them take part in making a DIY pizza or something can help take a little load of you.