Do you know what you are making for your Memorial Day festivities yet?
I love holiday weekends in the summer when everyone is outside, kicked back, and enjoying the warmer weather. Outside of tasty ideas for what's on the menu (shared below!), I have some other considerations for How to Best Handle Holiday Picnics, Summer Potlucks, and Picky Eaters that may help you with "what to plan" for your weekend fun.
Veggies & Virtue Meal Plan: Week of May 20
STEP 1: PLAN
Depending on what your plans for the holiday weekend, you will find a variety of crowd favorites on this week's menu. Ranging from pasta salad to cobb salads (both of which make great sides to bring to any potluck!) or grilled chicken or salmon that can be made as a larger fillet (if you find yourself hosting!), I hope some of the ideas below get you ready for next weekend and the togetherness that three-day weekends bring!
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STEP 2: PICK
A special thanks to Fruit Bliss for sponsoring this week's meal plan!
7 ǁ Family Night Out (slash Mom's Night Off!)
LOVE IT: plain noodles in EVOO, mandarin oranges
LIKE IT: baked cod
LEARNING IT: pasta salad, roasted asparagus
Parent's plate: Similar to my child's although I ate the savory options together and saved the mandarin oranges for last.
Notes: My oldest tends to prefer no sauce on her noodles, nor other ingredients mixed in so we offered the pasta salad both plain and composed as the recipe calls for so both girls could try it either way. They also just tried their first mandarin oranges recently when eating out on vacation and really liked them. Although they aren't a fruit-alternative we will have often (due to them not being as nutritionally-dense as other options they also enjoy), we serve fruit for dessert Sunday through Thursdays so it was a sweet option the girls enjoyed alongside our family meal. Of note, both girls tried the learning it foods but neither "ate" them, per say beyond their initial touch, lick, or taste.
STEP 4: PURCHASE
What I Buy and Why: Fruit Bliss Sun Dried Tomatoes (Sponsored)
Parents are always asking me how to get their kids to eat more vegetables or how to expand on a child's existing favorite(s) in a few more ways. Especially with smaller children who can't (or won't!) crunch through raw produce as well, finding safe and enjoyable veggies can be a bit of a trick.
That's one of the reasons I love the products by Fruit Bliss, including these Organic Turkish Tomato Halves. If you saw me share any other of Fruit Bliss's organic dried fruit on my Instagram stories, you might remember my sharing how their products were significantly more tender than most dried fruits I find at the grocery store. This not only makes them more flavorful to eat, but as a mom with young kids it also helps reassure me that my girls can safely chew the foods (which isn't always the case with dried fruit as it can be a choking hazard to small children). The dietitian in me also appreciates that the ingredient list is simple and preservative-free to include only organic sun-dried tomatoes, water, and salt.
These Fruit Bliss tomatoes are tender enough that they resemble a really soft dried fruit and yet they have a savory taste that offers a tasty twist on traditional raw tomatoes. If your child is still learning to like tomatoes in their plain, fresh form, consider trying these sun-sweetened tomatoes:
- At breakfast: alongside scrambled eggs, avocado, and whole grain toast with butter
- At snacks: Cut them up into smaller pieces to add into for a "salty mix" with a variety of snack crackers, pea crisps, veggie straws, freeze-dried veggies, and/or popcorn (again, note choking hazard with small kids)
- At lunch: Build your own English muffin pizzas. While you make them, have a taste test of fresh tomato slices, cherry tomato halves, pizza sauce, and these sun-sweetened tomato halves. Talk about how pizza sauce is made from tomatoes and all the different ways you can enjoy these, including diced up as a pizza topping!
- At dinner: Use them in place of sun-dried tomatoes in the Tuscan Pasta Salad recipe shared above! We will be making this again for a Memorial Weekend backyard picnic. When doing so, you can make this assembled in advance (as advised below) or offer it up deconstructed with the noodles, sauce, and tomato halves separate and let them self-toss their pasta salad so they can try the ingredients individually. Doing this, they may learn to like the tender, easy-to-chew nature of these sun-sweetened tomato halves much more than they do their raw or sun-dried counterparts!
To get your Fruit Bliss Organic Tomato Halves, be sure to enter my giveaway over on my Instagram account! Otherwise, you can go ahead and order them online or find a retailer for Fruit Bliss products near you.
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STEP 5: PREP
Want to get ahead?
Pasta salad is one of my favorite items to make the day ahead and keep in the fridge - either for lunch leftovers during the week or to easy grab and go after wrangling our kids and packing up what feels like a million items for a picnic or play date!
If you want an easy idea to take (or make!) this Memorial Day, go ahead and order these Organic Turkish Tomato Halves. Then make this pasta salad up to 24 hours in advance and you'll have the perfect side dish to add to any Memorial Day menu.