Meal Plan for October: healthy meals for your family

My family is going to love this week’s menu: between my husband’s favorite (lasagna) and the passion Big and Little have for shrimp (this is the one food that we allow Middle to skip and just eat the salad–he loves Caesar salad), everyone will be happy. Especially when we get to Gnocchi–I haven’t met a soul who doesn’t love gnocchi.

I was recently asked “how do you get your kids to eat HEALTHY?” on twitter. I responded that, sadly, she probably wasn’t going to like my answer if she had to ask. I get my kids to eat healthy by not giving them a choice. They’re expected to try everything on their plate, and eat it (I’m a softy if they start gagging, but I’ve seen that very few times.) My policy is, and has always been, I’m not a short-order cook, I only make one meal. This dates back to babyhood, when I used to puree or mash up our meals for the kids. I truly believe that if a child starts out and is expected to eat anything put before him, that’s what he’ll do.

For those of you who are reading this now and thinking, well, shoot. I missed my chance now that my kiddo is three… you might have missed a chance, but not the chance.  It’s a parenting skill. You need to become a tough-parent when it comes to food.

Discuss healthy eating with your kids upfront, look your child in the eye and tell them that you have expectations.

Lay down the law.

Do not budge.

I’m a mom of three and I will tell you that your child will be fine if he doesn’t eat dinner one night. So, if he refuses to eat chickpea, spinach and squash Gnocchi tonight, do not, let me say that boldly, do not make him chicken nuggets because you feel badly. He’ll whine. He’ll complain. He’ll tell you he’s starving. Tell him, kid, I made a really good dinner tonight. And if you don’t want it, you don’t have to eat it, but that, my friend, is dinner. If he knows that you mean it, he’ll get it and be swayed to start trying new foods. Because, as we all know… a kid’s gotta eat.

october meal plan dinners for families

If you’re new to meal planning, then check out my how to meal plan post which will give you the basic instructions on how to organize your week and get started. Of course, here at Julieverse, I make it easy for you. Each week, I repost the monthly plans, highlighting 5-7 well-rounded, family-friendly meals for you to fit into your plan. Once you get into the habit of planning, you’ll find yourself less stressed, spending less money and having to go to the store only once a week.

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October Meal Plan

October Week 1

Monday: Turkey Chili
Tuesday: Salmon over Ravioli
Wednesday: leftovers
Thursday: Crockpot Chicken Enchiladas
Weekend: Caliente Pot Roast, Pizza

October Week 2

Monday: Spiced Chicken with Chickpea & Cucumber Salad
Tuesday: Herb-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with sugar snap peas and applesauce
Wednesday: Beef/Corn Tacos
Thursday: leftovers
Weekend: Baked Potato Chowder, Chicken Fajita Taquitos

October Week 3

Monday: Easy Beef Lasagna with no-boil noodles and salad
Tuesday: Leftovers
Wednesday: Ginger Shrimp & Rice with a Caesar salad
Thursday: Chicken & Wild Rice Casserole and carrots
Weekend: Pizza, Chickpea, Spinach & Squash Gnocchi

October Week 4

Monday: Tilapia with Caper-Parsley sauce with Crash Hot Potatoes and Cheesy Broccoli
Tuesday: Parmesean Chicken Bake with sauteed zucchini & tomatoes
Wednesday: Spaghetti & Meatballs, Caesar Salad
Thursday: leftovers
Weekend: Chicken Tortilla Soup, Sweet Potato Fritters with Smokey Pinto Beans

October Week 5

Monday: Fish Tacos
Tuesday: Healthy Sloppy Joes with green beans
Wednesday: Make Your Own sandwiches or Chef Salad
Thursday: Ghoulash: Beef, Mac & Cheese (I’ll use ground buffalo meat)
Weekend: Pizza, Seafood Chowder

This monthly menu is posted again each Monday in October.

mom of 3 and wife living in the Philadelphia suburbs, Julie is a former elementary school teacher and a Public Relations manager. She is the owner/editor of Julieverse, a merchandiser with Chloe + Isabel (jewelryverse.com) and founder VlogMom and Splash Creative Media. A marketing strategist and freelance education and parenting writer by trade, Julie attempts to carve out time to enjoy playing with her kids, PTO, cooking and exercise.

© 2013, Julie Meyers Pron. All rights reserved.

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