Episode 172 Getting Your Kids to Try New Foods [Coaching] with Dana Malstaff

This on air coaching call was so fun! Dana Malstaff is the founder of Boss Mom. As a co-parenting mom she faces some unique challenges to feeding her two kids.

We talk about picky eaters, snacks, and how to systematically test new foods to slowly expand her kid’s palettes.

With kids who do not prefer pasta, potatoes, or rice, most of the “normal” tricks for feeding picky eaters are tossed out the window. I suggested polenta and Dana loved the idea!

Recipes from this episode:

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal

Lemon Blueberry Baked Oatmeal

Cranberry Orange Baked Oatmeal

Breakfast Cookies

Pumpkin Spice Breakfast Cookies

Other episodes you may like:

Episode 146 How to Pick a Recipe Your Family Will Eat

To learn more about Dana and Boss Mom check out these free resources:

7 Mistakes Bos Moms make when growing their business

90 day Nurture Guide

Or check out her signature programs:

Start and Grow Your Facebook Group Course

Nurture to Convert Society

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Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active teens. She helps busy families plan and execute weeknight dinner so they can recapture a little calm in the crazy. Check out her YouTube Channel or listen to the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast.

For a transcript click here.

 

Episode 163 3 Tips for Easy December Meals

December is a weird month. It starts out in a rush and in my home ends in slow days with lots of family time. In both situations, simple meals are the best! Here are 3 tips and 1 bonus for feeding your family in December.

Tip #1

Use “Backup Meals” on your regular meal plan.

Tip #2

Cook a large protein and repurpose it throughout the week.

Ham

Turkey Breast

Roast Beef

Tip #3

Make cold no-cook meals.

Charcuterie boards

Chef Salads

Bonus Tip

Buy a pre-made veggie tray and put it out every day for snacking and dinner time.

Links from this episode: 

Bean and Cheese Quesadillas

Weekly Meal Planning Sheet

Ham Bierocks

Cheater Turkey Pot Pie

French Dip Sandwiches

 

 

Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active kids. She helps busy families plan and execute weeknight dinner so they can recapture a little calm in the crazy. You can see her every week on KAKE TV’s Good Morning Kakeland or listen to the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast.

For a transcript click here

Episode 162 Freezing Cooked Proteins for Easy Meals

When life gets busy having a freezer stocked with cooked proteins can make cooking dinner much faster and easier.

It is nice to stock your freezer with a few basic proteins that you can use in lots of different recipes.

How to freeze proteins.

  • Cool meats to room temperature before freezing.
  • Freeze in meal-size portions for your family.
  • Think about the shape of frozen zip bags. Freeze flat on a cookie sheet or inside a container like an instant pot liner so it is easier to thaw.
  • Leave extra space at the top of the container if you are using glass.

Air is the enemy of frozen food.

  • Try to get as much air out of zip bags as possible.
  • Air causes ice crystals to form which degrades the food faster.

My favorite meats to freeze.

Taco Meat

Cheeseburger Baked Potato (Cooked hamburger and onions)

Roast Chicken

Instant Pot Lemony Chicken

Chicken Tacos

Looking for full freezer meals not just meats?

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Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active teens. She helps busy families plan and execute weeknight dinner so they can recapture a little calm in the crazy. Check out her YouTube Channel or listen to the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast.

For a transcript click here.

Episode 150 4 Tips to Feed Your Family in Tough Seasons of Life

If you have ever had a season of life where fixing dinner seems overwhelming or all the little burdens are just too much then you are in the right place.

We all have times when life gets tough. Sometimes these are short seasons and sometimes they are longer, but these tips will help you when life gets a little overwhelming.

Tip 1- Do not expect too much of yourself.

  • You are not wonder woman and dinners do not have to be perfect.
  • It doesn’t have to be 100% homemade or nutritionally perfect.
  • Do you have “ideals” about what dinner should look like that need to be loosened during this season?
  • You are only one person and feeding your family can be an emotional burden.
  • When your bandwidth is narrow keep your expectations realistic. 
  • Feeding your family is enough and chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, or cereal count as dinner.

Tip 2- Do not expect too much of others.

  • This is tricky because you need others to help you.
  • Make sure your expectations of others is clear. If you want your husband to empty the dishwasher ask him rather than just expect him to do it.
  • If you want your kids to pitch in and help, give them clear tasks.
  • If you have teens, set alarms on their phones to remind them to do the tasks you requested them to perform.

Tip 3- Look for ways to simplify.

  • Where can you make life a little easier in this season?
  • What convenience foods can you buy?
  • Can you go to fewer grocery stores or use grocery pickup or delivery?
  • If you know you are going to face a busy season, do a deep dive shopping trip ahead of the season. 
  • Include extra “backup meals” in your grocery list. 

Tip 4- Give yourself more cooking breaks.

  • Episode 133 is all about how to get cooking breaks. 
  • Buy your family’s favorite frozen entrees. (Think lasagna or pot stickers.)
  • Plan for takeout. It is so much better if you put it on your plan and look forward to the break. 
  • Use the grocery store for takeout. It is less expensive and super easy.

Links from this episode:

Episode 75 The Emotional Burden of Feeding Your Family

Episode 99 Deep Dive Grocery Shopping

Episode 4 “A” Always Have a Backup

Episode 133 4 Ways to Get a Break in the Kitchen

Egg Roll Meatballs

This post may contain affiliate links.

Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active kids. She helps busy families plan and execute weeknight dinner so they can recapture a little calm in the crazy. You can see her every week on KAKE TV’s Good Morning Kakeland or listen to the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast.

For a transcript click here.

Episode 145 How to Find Time to Fix Dinner

One of the biggest challenges most families face with getting dinner on the table is time. In my years of working with families I have found that dinner success has so much to do with time management.

In this episode I take a deep dive into time. To get dinner on the table you have to plan, prep, physically cook, and then clean up. We are going to break down some of these steps to help you find the time to get dinner on the table.

Step 1 is to look at the the actual “cooking” time a meal takes. 

This is the time you are adding heat. It could be on the stove, in the oven, on the grill, in the slow cooker, or in the Instant Pot. The different methods of cooking take different amounts of your attention. A 4 hour slow cooker meal does not need as much attention as a 15 minute stir fry, but it does take more time. 

Step 2 How much prep time does a meal take?

Some dinners take next to no prep (think opening a bag of chicken nuggets and putting a bag of  veggies in microwave.) Other meals take days of prep. My roast chicken needs to sit in the refrigerator with salt at least overnight, but only takes a moment to put in the oven the next day. 

Cooking on TV has taught me to break down every tiny step of prep. I don’t use 5 clear bowls on a Tuesday night like I do on TV. 

Step 3 Identify where you can break down steps in a recipe.

When I talked with Emily in Episode 141 she asked about blanching veggies early in the day to roast them at dinner time. She separated the steps of blanching and roasting. Where can you separate out steps to work ahead?

You can even outsource some of the prep to the grocery store by buying pre-chopped veggies or getting the butcher to cut your meat into 1 inch pieces. Buy chicken tenders instead of breasts for grilling.

Step 4 Find pockets of time to prep.

A few times to consider:

  • When you are cleaning up dinner. This is when I like to prep.
  • In the morning before or after breakfast
  • If you are home during the day do tiny bits of prep like Kendra Adachi recommends.

You could even make your own meal kits by putting all the ingredients for a specific meal in a bin in your refrigerator when you unload your groceries. 

Links from this episode:

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Episode 141 with Emily

Episode 93 with Kendra Adachi

Episode 12 with the blue bin for lunches

Tequila Lime Chicken

Roast Chicken

Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active kids. She helps busy families plan and execute weeknight dinner so they can recapture a little calm in the crazy. You can see her every week on KAKE TV’s Good Morning Kakeland or listen to the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast.

For a transcript click here.

Episode 133 4 Ways to Get a Break in the Kitchen

Episode 133 is about getting a break in the kitchen

I truly believe every mom needs a break from fixing dinner at least one day a week. My mother hosts our family for a weekly dinner at her house, so I can always count on one night a week where I don’t have to cook (or plan, or shop, or clean up). On this week’s podcast, I share four other ways to get a break from the kitchen.

 

1 – Go Out to Dinner or Get Takeout

Going to a restaurant or getting food from the drive-thru is how most moms get a break. The key to enjoying the experience is to PLAN for it. You have permission to write “dinner out” on your weekly dinner plan when you know you’ll be too tired to cook. 

 

Making a specific plan to eat out frees you from any guilt you may feel about changing your meal plan last-minute. You’ll get to experience the joy of anticipation knowing that a break is coming, and it will help you stay on track when you want to throw in the towel on other nights of the week.

 

2 – Use Frozen Foods

You will have to use your oven, but reheating frozen foods isn’t really the same as cooking. By using quality frozen foods in your meal plan, you can minimize the amount of time spent on prep and hand-on cooking.

 

By the way, frozen foods do make great backup meals, but it’s ok to plan them, too! Save yourself some time and mental energy by keeping a pre-made lasagna or a bag of pot stickers in your freezer.

 

3 – Let Your Spouse or Older Kids Cook Dinner

 

If you have a spouse who likes to grill or a teenager who loves to try new cooking techniques, you may be able to pass the dinner responsibilities to them once in a while. However, communication is key! Be very clear about what you expect so you can be relaxed instead of resentful. 

 

Some things to agree on beforehand:

  • Who will plan the meal?
  • Who will buy the ingredients?
  • What time does dinner need to be ready to eat?
  • Who cleans up afterwards (and what does that actually mean)?

 

4 – Use Your Grocery Deli

 

Prepared items at the deli counter of your grocery store are usually less expensive than restaurant takeout, so this can be a great option for larger families. Pair a bagged salad with a rotisserie chicken for a quick healthy meal, or get a variety of Chinese dishes for everyone to share.

 

Often when we feel burned out about making dinner, it’s less about the physical cooking and more about having a break from the planning, prep and cleanup. What are your favorite dinner shortcuts? Join us in the Feed Your Family Tonight Facebook group to share your tips and get ideas from our other community members.

 

Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active kids. She helps busy families plan and execute weeknight dinner so they can recapture a little calm in the crazy. You can see her every week on KAKE TV’s Good Morning Kakeland or listen to the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast.

For a transcript click here.

Episode 132 Let’s Talk About Eating Out

Episode 132 is about eating out

Have you noticed I rarely write “dinner out” on my meal plan? It’s not because eating at restaurants is a bad thing, it’s just something my family rarely did on weeknights when I was growing up. My mom had an infinite stash of “instant meals” to use when life happened and dinner had to be on the table in a rush. When the wheels fell off, she just pulled something out of her freezer and she fed us. 

 

Mom’s instant meals are what I call Backup Meals: something that can be on the table in 20 minutes or less using ingredients you always have in your kitchen. Having two to three backup meal options helps you avoid the drive-thru when you can’t make the dinner you had planned. Listen to Episode 69: You Need a Backup for some quick and easy ideas.

 

Even if you don’t see “dinner out” on my meal plan, I believe every mom needs a break from cooking at least once a week. For me, that comes in the form of a weekly family dinner hosted by my parents. Family dinner is my break from cooking and kitchen clean-up, and it’s something I can count on. Not every family has someone to host a weekly dinner, but there are lots of ways to plan a night off from cooking. Whether you pick up prepared items like fried chicken from the deli, order a pizza or go out to a restaurant, planning a night off lets you enjoy the break instead of feeling guilty about it. 

 

Think about how your mindset shifts when you make plans to eat out. When you know you have a night off, it frees up mental space so you can focus your energy on other projects. You can work in the yard or enjoy a day out with your family without dreading the meal that still needs to be cooked when you come home tired. Writing “dinner out” on your meal plan is a good thing. Plan for that dinner out – and enjoy it!

 

Do you plan a night off from cooking or have a family tradition around eating out? We’d love to hear your ideas in the Feed Your Family Tonight Facebook group.

 

Other episodes you might like:

Episode 33: When the Wheels Fall Off

Episode 69: You Need a Backup

Episode 77: When You Don’t Feel Like Cooking and Let’s Talk About the Dishes

 

Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active kids. She helps busy families plan and execute weeknight dinner so they can recapture a little calm in the crazy. You can see her every week on KAKE TV’s Good Morning Kakeland or listen to the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast.

For a transcript click here.

 

Episode 131 A New Way to Look at Recipes

Episode is about Recipes

Weeknight dinner success is more about time management than it is about recipes. To be successful you want to choose the right kind of recipe for the amount of time and energy you will have on a given day.

In this episode Marie walks you through six ways to categorize recipes by the amount of time you need to prepare them. 

  • Long Prep Project Cooking
    • These are special occasion meals like homemade potstickers or baklava. 
  • Long Prep Bulk or Freezer Prep
    • These are recipes like Big Batch Taco Meat, or making 3 Lasagnas at a time. You have one for dinner and several for your freezer.
  • Short Prep Long Hands Off Cooking
    • These are recipes that take a few minutes to prep and cook for a long time but you do not have to tend to them while they are cooking. Roast Chicken and Crock Pot meals.
  • Short Prep Moderate Hands On Cooking
  • Short Prep  and Short Hands Off Cooking
  • Freezer Revival Meals
    • These are things you have prepped earlier that you can quickly put in the oven or defrost and serve. Frozen Lasagna and Taco Meat are examples. 

Start thinking about what meals you make and where they fit in these categories. It will help you when you fill out your weekly meal planning sheet. How much time and energy will you have on a given day? Can you prep in the morning or the night before? Do you need to use something from the freezer you made earlier? Do you have time to do a little freezer prep?

 

Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active kids. She helps busy families plan and execute weeknight dinner so they can recapture a little calm in the crazy. You can see her every week on KAKE TV’s Good Morning Kakeland or listen to the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast.

For a transcript click here.

Episode 128 Spring Pantry and Freezer Clean Out

Shows Episode 128 is about Spring Cleaning.

Spring is here and it is time to clean out your freezer and pantry to get ready for warm weather foods. Get ready for a refresh of the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast with our new Tuesday release date next week.

1-Use the Master Meal Planning Sheet to see some warm weather foods you haven’t made lately. You may think of some new foods to add to the sheet. The sheet is free here: https://www.feedyourfamilytonight.com/2018/11/30/01-master-meal-planning-sheet/

                -Follow me on Instagram @FeedYourFamilyTonight or Facebook.com/feedyourfamilytonight

2-Clean out your freezer and pantry.

-Use up or throw out the “odd bits” in your freezer. I like to make croutons with the odd bits of bread in my freezer.

-Donate or share any food you purchased that your family didn’t prefer. (Idea from Lisa at Organize365.com)

-Eat up the heavy winter foods in your freezer like chili and stew.

-Think about the foods you like to eat in warmer weather and get the ingredients for things like salads and marinades.

3-Take stock of your pantry and freezer. I needed to call my farmer to order more meat for the summer.

4-Look at your spices. Do they smell fragrant? Toss or use up old spices and make a list of what you need to replenish. I like to get my spices from The Spice House.

5-Make a list of gadgets and serving utensils you need for the summer. I bought all my kids new water bottles. (Get in the habit of having you kids take a water bottle with them anytime you are in the car.) This is the brand we have used for over two years. We love them! We have water bottles and tumblers.

6-Clean out your silverware drawer. Martha Stewart was right- it will be full of crumbs.

Enjoy the warmer weather and your family!

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Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active kids. She helps busy families plan and execute weeknight dinner so they can recapture a little calm in the crazy. You can see her every week on KAKE TV’s Good Morning Kakeland or listen to the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast.

For a transcript click here.

Episode 118 4 Reasons You Aren’t Sticking to Your Meal Plan and How to Get Back on Track

How many times have you made a meal plan and then didn’t follow it? Maybe you got busy, or maybe your kids ate one of the main ingredients. This week’s podcast is all about helping you stick with your meal plan.

 

Know that you are not alone. I know in my house that I change from my original plan once a week. It’s okay, I expect it and it doesn’t mean food is going to waste. I just make small tweaks.

 

Here are the four reasons you may not be sticking with your meal plan and how to get back on track.

1-  You have unrealistic expectations.

  • -Are you too aspirational in your meal choices?
  • -Maybe your season of life doesn’t have room for making a recipe that takes all day and a sink full of dishes to execute.
  • -Maybe your family’s pallets are not ready for new flavors and textures.
  • -Be realistic in your expectations for “healthy” meals. Change takes time and is best received when it is gradual.
  • Episode 115 talks about “Base Ingredients” and how you can use them to add variety to your meals without as many complaints from your family.

 

2-   Your family eats the ingredients you planned to use for dinner.

  •  -Use a bin to hold ingredients like the “Blue Bin” I talk about in episode 12.
  •  -Use a sharpie or wet erase marker to label food you plan to use for dinner. 
  •  -Buy some stickers to put on food to signal to your family that you plan to use that ingredient.
  •  -The key is to be clear. Tell your family how you are marking foods to save.

3-    The meal you planned doesn’t sound good anymore.

  •  -This is often why I change meals at least once a week.
  •  -I try to keep the same “Base Ingredients” and shift the recipe in small ways to make something that sounds better to me or my kids.
  •  -Look at the weather when you make your meal plans.
  •  -If it is going to be rainy or cold, plan meals like soup or stew.
  •  -If it is going to be warm and sunny on the weekend, plan really simple meals because you will likely spend the day outside or tackle a big project and you won’t want to cook.

4- The ingredients go bad before you make the meal.

  • -Did you plan your meals around your grocery shopping?
  • -Plan meals with highly perishable meals close to your grocery trips.
  •  -Shop more than once a week for fresh ingredients.
  • -Be realistic about the amount of effort you will put into cooking, and consider quicker prep options like bagged coleslaw or pre-cut meat.

This post contains affiliate links.

Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active kids. She helps busy families plan and execute weeknight dinner so they can recapture a little calm in the crazy. You can see her every week on KAKE TV’s Good Morning Kakeland or listen to the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast.

For a transcript click here