Tag Archives: Health

Kid Favorites – Fruits and Veggies (and a few legumes for good measure)

As our family prepares to alter our diet, I am seeking input from the kids about which fruits and vegetables they want with their meals. It will be a big adjustment to cut out dairy and gluten for a few weeks, so I’m trying to make our meals as appealing as possible. You may not be trying to make any adjustments to your diet, but if you have children, it might be nice to keep in your meal-planning section so that you have a variety of healthy options at a glance. Heck, maybe you don’t have kids, but you want to generate a list for yourself! Healthier eating is a frequent New Year’s resolution. No matter the case, it may make grocery lists easier to generate.

Last night, I sat down with my son and asked him to rate fruits and vegetables on a scale of 0-3 (0 being “don’t even bother trying to make me eat it” and 3 meaning it’s a favorite). Fruits and Veggies

From there, I transferred any items that weren’t zeros onto A5 grid paper. I marked my son’s favorites with a star. This morning, I ran through that list with my daughter, and made notes, marking any of her favorites with a blue star. There are also a few notes for me to consider in the space below. Now I know what’s fallen out of favor (tangerines used to be our “go-to” snack, but they’ve become less of a treat) and what will be devoured in their lunch boxes. I also discovered that my daughter seems more enthusiastic about fruits and vegetables in general (note the prevalence of blue stars!). That, or my son is a tougher grader. Most of the items on this list he rated as twos.

I realize that some parents feel their children should eat whatever is served, but we’re trying to be mindful as we ask the kids to give up some beloved foods (even if temporarily). As I type this, however, I realized I omitted cucumber. I may also go in and add a few foods that Kevin turns his nose up to, but that Sophia likes (e.g., cantaloupe). You’ll also notice the lack of leafy greens, but I’m planning to ease them into that 🙂

This section of my Filofax is serving me well as I make some big changes in our house. I’m considering making my Holborn A5 zip a temporary home for dietary stuff as I do more research and food testing. Meal plans, favorite new recipes, and more…I’ll see how much I end up writing.

New Section to my Filofax: Trying a Special Diet

My 14-year-old son has been experiencing some gastrointestinal issues, so we have been advised to try eliminating gluten and dairy from his diet for several weeks. This is a daunting experiment, especially during the holiday season. We were advised that it is particularly helpful when the whole family tries this at the same time to make it easier on our son. He’s willing to try anything to see if it helps him feel better, but my 9-year-old daughter is a picky eater. This means we have several things to consider:

  1. How to avoid a sense of “deprivation” to a family that loves cheese (and gluten, but the dairy-free part will be the trickiest, I think)
  2. How to make our teenager’s lunch appealing enough that he doesn’t “cheat” by getting non-GF/DF food from his friends’ lunches
  3. How to appease the palate of a child who is not very adventurous about food
  4. How to track our son’s symptoms to see if this effort is worth continuing
  5. How to make this manageable, given our busy schedule

Enter my Filofax. It will take a fair amount of planning to launch this special diet, and my Malden is the perfect home for all of it. I set up my work space with everything I need.


I’d like to keep an informal overview of my son’s treatment and tests so that I have the dates and notes to help refresh my memory when I speak with different doctors (below).

To help with the transition, I’ve been scouring the Internet for sites that post gluten- and dairy-free recipes our family will enjoy. I’m sure I’ve missed several, but I will keep this Post-it pasted on the back of the divider for his health section so that it’s the first thing I see. It can easily be changed or updated.



My other research — something I’m just starting — is a list of foods that don’t have hidden dairy or gluten in the ingredients. Thank goodness for the Internet, because many groups and bloggers have posted which brands/foods are “safe” for people with food sensitivities. They all caution that manufacturers can change ingredients without warning, so I know I’ll have to keep looking at labels, but this should help me generate my grocery list. I like the idea of keeping this in a binder, because I’m sure we’ll discover new items to add, as well as which items to remove if they are flops.

I plan to keep a food diary when we start next week. We’ll use this to track what my son eats and how he feels.

Food Diary

I’m starting to compile a short list of meal ideas so that when I do my weekly overview on Sunday, I’ll be able to plan our meals. I’ll use the page to track which ones are worth cooking again and which ones are flops. It’s clear not all GF/DF meals are created equal.

Tonight I plan to show my son and daughter lists of fruits and vegetables so that they can name which ones they would like to eat more often. I have a sense of their likes and dislikes, but this diet will be much heavier in fresh fruits and veggies. It will help to make a list for my Filofax so that our meals are as varied as possible. I know we’ll be cooking a lot more “from scratch,” so I don’t want to expend too much energy staring at a blank grocery list.

My A5 Malden is a great place to plan a major diet change. I’m not sure if this will make a noticeable difference for my son’s health, but it will certainly be easier because I have organized key resources to support our efforts.