Family-Friendly Meal Plan: Week #11

Next up for National Nutrition Month is another dietitian I am always impressed with:

Nicole Fennell is a Integrative & Functional Registered Dietitian as well as a Certified LEAP Nutritional Therapist from Chews Food Wisely. Nicole tailors nutrition counseling based on the needs of each client, sharing evidence-based guidelines and research, and providing the necessary tools for permanent lifestyle changes utilizing a “real food” philosophy. Through the use of advanced, state-of-the-art laboratory testing, Nicole is able dive deep into a client's cellular nutritional status and individualize nutritional recommendations for each patient. Nicole believes healthy eating, physical activity, and peace of mind are the keys to disease prevention and treatment.


Veggies & Virtue Meal Plan: Week of March 11

CFW thumbnail.png


As a pediatric dietitian to two "picky eaters" of my own, I am constantly trying to make sure there is always something on the table my kids *could* eat. I admit, sometimes this makes me overly simplistic in what I think to offer though.

That's one of the reasons why I love watching and learning from Nicole. She helps me to re-evaluate the types and combinations of foods I eat (and offer) from a standpoint of functional medicine. While this sounds kind of fancy in my usual "kid-focused" world, I love how Nicole shares simple, realistic meal ideas for the working mom on her Instagram account - including those she offers her son!

On this week's meal plan, Nicole shares with us the breadth of ways we can incorporate "real foods" into our "real worlds" with recipes from her e-Cookbook & Nutrition Manifesto (available for purchase here). She has generously given permission to share each of the recipes included in this week's plan below through this FREE download.

Interested in walking through the steps to meal plan like a pro?

Download your copy of my Meal Planning Playbook. It outlines the following five steps of successful meal planning in more detail so you can achieve "Less Meal Time Stress and More Feeding Success" for your own family!



chews food wisely.png

A special thanks to Nicole from Chews Food Wisely for the delicious recipe ideas this week!

All of Nicole's recipes are available in her complete e-Cookbook & Nutrition Manifesto (available for purchase here). Nicole has generously contributed the following recipes from her cookbook in this FREE download.

Dinner Menu:

1 ǁ Family Dinner Sunday: Simple Snapper Bake*

2 ǁ Meatless Monday: Egg Frittata

3 ǁ Taco Tuesday: Slow-Cooker Carnitas with Slaw*

4 ǁ Asian Night: Egg Roll Bowl*

5 ǁ Leftovers

6 ǁ Pizza Night: Did you know that pretty much every dietitian I know still eats pizza? Fun fact: Nicole's favorite type of pizza is: Against The Grain Pesto Pizza

7 ǁ Breakfast on Saturday: Sweet Potato Hash with Eggs*

*Find all of this week's recipes in this FREE download!



Nicole will be one of the first to share that she got lucky having her son be an adventurous eater, but she deserves credit too for using a few consistent key tricks to reinforce healthy habits in her home. She shares pictures of her son's plate shared on her Instagram, which would leave any parent wanting to know how she gets her son to both eat and enjoy half his plate as veggies! Here is what she has to share:

My secret to getting my kid to eat:
1. Make food taste good. Would you want to eat bland, boring food? Yeah, me either
2. Repetition, repetition, repetition.
3. Eating the same foods as my son. Setting an expectation that we eat as a family and we eat the same thing.
4. Luck. Seriously, luck.

Take it one meal and one snack at a time. Find ONE thing you can incorporate that will promote health, and slowly build upon that.
— Nicole, Chews Food Wisely

Want to learn more about how "Love it, Like it, Learning it" works?
Grab your free guide here.



What I Buy and Why: 

Nicole shares the below shopping tips for some common items fellow moms have questions about!

Grass-fed Beef
Cows are meant to survive on grass, not corn and soy based feed. Studies on the omega-3 (anti-inflammatory) versus omega-6 (pro-inflammatory) content of grass-fed versus grain-fed cows show that grass-fed cows have a much high ratio of omega-3 fatty acids, which most diets are very lacking of.  Omega-3 fatty acids not only help to manage the inflammatory response in the body, but are essential to brain health of both growing babies, children, and adults.  Omega-3’s also support heart health and keep cells nice and fluid versus stiff and difficult to penetrate.

Full-Fat Dairy
The key to full-fat dairy products is first identifying that the dairy product is from a grass-fed cow that is free from added growth hormones and antibiotics. Animals, just like humans, store toxins in fat cells, so if conventional dairy is the only option available, then opt for the lower-fat. However, the fat in dairy products not only helps to keep you fuller longer, but provides the necessary fatty acids required to absorb fat soluble vitamins, minerals (like calcium), and keep your blood sugar stable between meals. The fat, especially from grass-fed animals, contains the super important omega-3 fatty acids.  Grass-fed dairy contains the sometimes hard to get fat-soluble Vitamin A in its activated, bio-available form that is really important for growth and tissue repair (of both kids and adults!).

The best option for pickles would be to find something that is naturally fermented so boost probiotic content of your meals.  To identify if is it natural fermented, check out the ingredients to see if there is any added vinegar.  If the ingredients are just salt, water, pickles, and maybe some herbs/spices, you’ve found yourself a fermented pickle! These will likely be in the refrigerated section of the store.  Otherwise, check your pickle jars and make sure there isn’t a lot of added unnecessary dyes, sugars, and preservatives. 

Organic vs. Non-Organic
Opt for organic as much as you can, but if that’s not an option, at least for the Dirty Dozen and anything you can’t peel.  If you can peel it, often times non-organic is just fine (with the exception of corn, papaya, and a few others on the Dirty Dozen list).

Which grocery item were you the most unaware of how to buy from the above? Take Nicole's tips to gradually change your buying behaviors to include these tips in ways that fit for your family.



For more information on what ingredients to prep for this week's meal plan, be sure to get your free download of all this week's recipes HERE.

Happy National Nutrition Month!

To You and Your Family's Health,
Ashley & Nicole