Last week on vacation, my family ate out a lot. Annalyn basically existed on chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese. I did order her grilled chicken and mandarin oranges once. But for the most part? It was all processed food, all the time.

I’d like to tell you that’s completely out of the norm, that we never feed our child processed or convenience foods. But that would be a lie. To give you a good idea of what I’m talking about, here are a few of Annalyn’s favorite foods:

1. Chicken nuggets
2. Macaroni and cheese
3. Granola bars
4. Goldfish crackers
5. Fruit snacks

Oh – and don’t forget peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! And turkey dogs.

Now, I’m not a complete heathen. Annalyn also loves – and eats on a regular basis – fresh fruit and veggies, and more often than not, she eats the same meal we do (albeit a much smaller serving, aka, just three more bites!) at dinner. But I recognize and admit that we rely on those easy and unhealthy foods much too often.

It’s just that … {Brace yourself, because here comes the whining.} … It’s so hard! It’s hard to think of new foods to feed my occasionally picky eater. And it’s hard to dredge up the energy for one more under-appreciated meal.

Enter Survive Before 5: Toddler Meals for Your Busy Days, a new e-book by Tricia (@onceamonthmom). This e-cookbook is a step-by-step resource for cooking meals for kids before dinner. We all know that meal times can be a challenge and hopefully this month full of meal plans can help keep the kids happy, more importantly, mom happy.

The plan includes breakfasts, lunches and snacks. Like all Once A Month Mom menus it contains grocery lists, instructions, recipe cards and labels. There are options for 1 child, 2 children, 4 children, or 6 children. If you have a child that eats more than the indicated toddler portions you can simply count them as an additional child when cooking. Here are the recipes that are contained in the e-cookbook:


  • blueberry pancakes
  • toddler french toast sticks
  • fruity breakfast burritos


  • homemade spaghetti o’s
  • individual mac & cheese cups
  • corndog muffins
  • homemade cheesy rice
  • apple chicken nuggets
  • individual pizzas


  • frozen fruit cups
  • homemade yogurt
  • peanut butter banana yogurt pops
  • peanut butter granola bars

Additional features include:

  • A choice of preparing for 1 child, 2 children, 4 children or 6 children.
  • Grocery lists for 1 child, 2 children, 4 children or 6 children.
  • Customized labels for each of your prepared items.
  • Recipe cards containing photographs and some step-by-step photos as well.

Did you notice that the recipes include healthy, homemade versions of some of Annalyn’s – and possibly your kids’ – favorites? Mac and cheese cups? Corndog muffins? PERFECT. (And, also, do you think it would be so bad if I ate some of these yummy foods WITH her??)

The price of the e-Cookbook is $7.99. Now through July 1, though, it’s just $5.99 with the code OAMM599.

How do you stay away from processed (EASY) foods for your kids? Do you ever do once-a-month cooking for your kids’ breakfasts, lunches and snacks?

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