Bi-Weekly Whole Food Meal Plan August 30–September 12

Comment

Welcome to The Better Mom Whole Food Meal Plan.

It's National Peach Month and my youngest son helped me develop these delicious GF Peach Cobbler Muffins to celebrate. Even better, this recipe can be used to make absolutely fabulous peach Muffins too!

It's National Peach Month and my youngest son helped me develop these delicious GF Peach Cobbler Muffins to celebrate. Even better, this recipe can be used to make absolutely fabulous peach Muffins too!

Our free bi-weekly whole food menus open into a convenient pdf that includes links to each of the gluten-free recipes featured making it easy to access them with just a simple click.

Once you click on the graphics below, you can easily save these gluten-free menus to your computer for easy access anytime you need them. Then, simply click on the links within the meal plan pdf to gain instant access to each of the recipes. (Please note: Many mobile devices and tablets are not able to open links within a pdf document. So be sure to save the meal plans to your computer first.)

Aug 30–Sept 5 GF Whole Food Meal Plan

Bi-Weekly Whole Food GF Meal Plan for Aug 30–Sept 5: (To print the meal plan provided below, simply click on the graphic or click here and it will open a pdf into a new window for easier saving and printing. Remember, many mobile devices and tablets are not able to open links within a pdf. So save the meal plan to your computer first.)

September 6–12 GF Whole Food Meal Plan

Bi-Weekly Whole Food GF Meal Plan for September 6–12: (To print the meal plan provided below, simply click on the graphic or click here and it will open a pdf into a new window for easier saving and printing. Remember, many mobile devices and tablets are not able to open links within a pdf. So save the meal plan to your computer first.)

In addition to the gluten-free meal plans above, we're pleased to provide you with a free meal planning template perfect for creating your own custom meal plans:
• Meal plan template PDF 

To learn more about meal planning, please check out my FREE Video Course: Mastering Meal Planning. My hope is that this will be a great resource and encouragement for you whether you’re just getting started with meal planning, or are a seasoned expert.

Always a treat to share healthy meals with you! Let’s give thanks to the Lord for providing us the opportunity to nourish our families in this way!

Joyfully Serving HIM, Kelly at The Nourishing Home

Kelly Smith

Kelly loves the Lord, her family, and sharing her passion for gluten-free, grain-free cooking and meal planning with others. She is a full-time homemaker who loves spending time with her awesome hubby and two sweet boys. Kelly's whole food, gluten-free journey began six years ago when she was diagnosed with a chronic autoimmune disorder. Since then, the Lord has blessed her with an amazing recovery - a testament to His grace and the health benefits of eating whole foods. Kelly shares her knowledge and love for whole food cooking at The Nourishing Home.

Embracing the Changing Season

Comment

As our weather turns cool, part of me is tempted to fight the loss of summer. It seemed to have gone by so fast this year!

I will miss the opportunity to step outdoors at a moment's notice to breathe in the summer air; to step out from being cooped up and enjoy the wide open space in the warm sunshine and to relish in the long summer days.

But if I try to hold onto summer, I will miss what is right in front of me. Yes, the weather is cooling off, but this allows me the opportunity to serve delicious soup and cuddle up with a blanket in the evenings. 

It's not much different when we battle against changing seasons of motherhood. 

These seasons aren't simply children's ages and stages -- which certainly have their share of changes!

But the seasons can also include spiritual seasons of us as moms as well as working seasons.

Spiritual Seasons

We go through different seasons in our spiritual walks. Some seasons are dry and barren while others are saturated with growth and new life. Our spiritual lives will naturally flow into everything else. How we handle these seasons will determine how we handle everything in our lives because it permeates everything.

Lean into Him when you feel alone, unanswered, or forgotten. Don't withdraw because that's exactly what Satan wants. Instead, press harder and closer into Christ. Trust Him by reading His word and remembering His promises. 

Working/Ministry Seasons

Sometimes there are seasons when mom must work. Whether it's inside the home or outside the home, when you know God has a plan, even if it may not be what we want, trusting Him will help us ease into that season much easier. 

This is true of ministry as well. Sometimes God calls us into ministry while everyone else is saying we should be focused on just our homes and just our children. Sometimes that is not always the case. 

Involve your children if you can! 

When my husband and I began working in youth ministry, we had one baby. By the time we left youth ministry, we had 5 children. They were always a part of what we did and the teenagers loved on them. 

Restful Seasons

Maybe God is calling you to a season of rest. Maybe He wants you to pull out of some things and refocus in some areas. There ought to be no shame, condemnation, or guilt for these types of seasons. Unfortunately, they aren't always met by others with grace.

Listen Friends. If God is calling you out of ministry, work, or anything else, you have no one to answer to other than Him. He is your Ultimate Boss and no one should make you feel guilty for what God is calling you to.

If there is one thing I have learned, it's trying to embrace the seasons as they change. Rather then fighting them, make the most of them. 

Whatever season you find yourself shifting into, embrace it. God is still there and He is walking with you as you transition. Trust Him. Believe He has YOUR best interests at heart. 

For His Glory,
Christin Slade

Christin

Christin is wife of 14 years to her high school sweetheart and mother to seven children. She looks for beauty in the simple and appreciates a good cup of coffee. She is learning to live everyday with joy, find gratitude in the mundane, and speak words of grace. You can find Christin writing through her days on her blog, christinslade.com.

The Three Period Lesson: A Simple System for Learning With Your Children

Comment
Do you ever wonder how you can build teachable moments into the everyday details of life with your kids? This simple method is great for you to apply as you teach your little ones about the world. Try these three steps to help your kids learn anywhere.

When my children were in preschool, I wanted them to thrive in what they put their minds, hearts and hands to each day. I desired more than anything in those days for them to be able to play, explore and carry a sense of wonder as they went about their work and their daily routines. As moms, we are given the greatest gift of holding our child's hearts and speaking words of life! It can be easy in the whirlwind of our days to forget the power our words have to teach, instruct and encourage. I found that often, some of our best connecting and best learning came as a result of conversations with me about common, everyday things we experienced and observed together because I was intentional about living life alongside my little ones.

Particularly in the Pre-school years, The Three Period Lesson, is a trademark of a Charlotte Mason education, but like so many of her principles, it seems like a common sense approach to the way a day is woven together with young children; talking, pointing out, and sharing observations naturally. Its a simple method that you can apply at any age, to engage with your children and to help them learn about virtually any subject. Here's how it works:

Lesson One is where naming occurs.

“Sweetie, this is the color yellow” or “This is the color green.” Or “Oh look at that animal climbing the tree! That is a squirrel!” The opportunities to name and speak with our youngest learners throughout the day are endless really, but the mental shift comes when we engage these opportunities and intentionally plan to build on them.

Lesson Two is where a child shows recognition of a given object, letter or number.

In a line of the letters A,B and C, you might ask, “Which one is the letter B?” Or when you are visiting the zoo or reading a book about animals, “Which one is the elephant?” “Can you show mommy the orange fruit?” 

Lesson Three requires that the child has naming, recognition and pronounciation of the word within their mental capabilities.

Independently, the child is able to give an answer as you point to any given item and ask “What is this?” 

In our home, The Three Period Lesson is a staple of our pre-school. It is a method that gives some shape to introducing numbers, letters, colors, animals and other objects. 

Here are some real life examples for how we used these lessons.

-Baking: As  I’m measuring and pouring, I'm talking to my children about cups and teaspoons and the ingredients needed to make their favorite pancakes. 

-Nature Study: As we begin our observation of birds this fall, we are beginning a study of the wren as well as identifying trees and other flora and fauna. 

-Colors: Using watercolors along side our impressionist study, younger children can  show mastery in their knowledge of the basics, while the older children are using the color wheel to identify complimentary colors in the elements of design.

-Poetry: Learning about limmericks or sonnets, the three period lesson can be extended to identify the structure of different styles of poetry, and ultimately, allow the children to create their own works.

So, how do you think you could apply this simple method to what you are doing with your kids this week?

Blessings to you,

Kristen

www.hopewithfeathers.com

 

Kristen Kill

Kristen is a Northwest native who grew up surrounded by family, books, alpine peaks and lots of green. She never thought she’d leave. And when she did, she landed in a lot of concrete in a city that shapes the world’s culture. Now she's figuring out a life that she longs to have marked by gratitude and grace, good food and conversation; beauty, art and homeschooling all squeezed into a Manhattan apartment. She writes about living with intention as a wife and mother of four in the midst of a city that makes her heart beat just a little bit faster every time she walks outside at Hope With Feathers. She also relishes in her role as the Editor of The Better Mom and loves sharing snippets of her life on Instagram.

Peanut Butter Apple Crisp

Comment
Fall is upon us, moms! Ready to make the most delicious desert for your family ever? We thought so. How about the recipe? Yum!

I mentioned the other day on social media that I'd just taken a pan of peanut butter apple crisp out of the oven. My pages blew up with requests for the recipe.

So, I'm sharing it here today. It really does receive rave reviews every time. 

 

This is a recipe I made up to please my boys. And now their friends beg me to make it too. Scores of football players will be consuming pans of this treat this fall at my kitchen island.

 

First---the secrets---you MUST use a good, tart cooking apple. Granny Smith work well. Or Golden Delicious. Or Cortland. But the BEST are.....

Northern Spies!!!!

 

I found them at my local farmer's market on Saturday. They really are the best for baking. "Spies for pies" my mom always said. ;-)

 

Second secret? You must use extra-chunky peanut butter. The chunkiest you can find! Natural style is my favorite but any kind works as long as it is extra-chunky.

Now for the recipe.

Peanut-Butter Apple Crisp

8-10 Granny Smith, Spy or other tart cooking apples

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan with cooking spray. Peel and slice enough apples to fill the pan. Sprinkle with lemon juice and salt. Mix together flour and sugar and shake over the top of apples. Toss gently.

For the topping, mix:

1 stick real butter, softened

1 ½ cups extra-chunky peanut butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups sugar

3/4 cup flour

1 1/2 cups rolled oats 

Topping should hold together in clumps when pressed in your fist and not be too sticky. If it is, add a little more flour.

Sprinkle over the top and bake at 375 degrees for about 25-30 minutes until apples are tender and topping is lightly golden. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. FABULOUS!!!!!

Blessings,

Karen Ehman

5 Tips For Praying With Your Kids

Comment
Do you pray with your children? It might feel strange if you haven't already begun, but times of prayer with our kids can easily become a part of your daily routine. Not only that- it bonds you and teaches your children how to approach God. These 5 tips will get you started!

Praying with your children is an important activity that families should prioritize but when many of us struggle to pray consistently on our own, teaching our children to pray may sometimes seem a bit of a daunting task.

But it doesn’t have to be!

Praying with your children can be a very simple habit to begin, if you haven’t already, and it can also be a time for you as a parent to show them a variety of ways that they can talk to God about.

The beauty of talking to God is that there isn’t one right way to do it!  Prayer is simply open and honest communication with God.  We should teach our children that God loves to hear from them and wants to be intimately included in every details of their lives.  As we teach our children about prayer and pray with them we can show them a variety of waya in which they can approach the thrown of their heavenly Father about what concerns them.

Here some tips for praying with your kids and maybe even some tips to help you in your prayer life as well!

1. Pray at meals.

This one may seem obvious but take the meal time prayer a step further.  Assign one kid ownership of the mealtime prayer for a specific time of day (breakfast, lunch, or dinner) and let them “own” that time for an entire month.  It will give your child regular practice praying and give them a habit of praying daily. It will also cut down on figuring out who should pray at each meal.

2. Pray for your spiritual community.

Many times for children, they will struggle with who to pray for outside of their family or close circle of friends.  Get creative with who you can pray for as a family outside of the normal “grandma, best friend, sibling prayers! Bring home your church bulletin and pray for those who are sick or who have lost loved ones.  Find out who your church supports on the mission field and pray for them and for the mission they are working to accomplish. Make a list of the people who are on staff at your local church and pray for them and the work they do for the Lord.

3. Pray for your physical community.

Take things a step further and seek to identify leaders in your immediate community, local government, or even the nation.  Take the opportunity to teach your children about their roles and then show them in God’s Word how important it is to pray for those in authority (1 Timothy 2:1-3).  Prayer can become an opportunity not only to talk to God in generalities but also to learn more about that for which we pray so that we can pray specifically.  As you seek to teach your children (and maybe even yourself) to pray more specifically, take the time to listen to the radio together, watch educational TV programs, read magazines articles etc. But then don’t just stop with gathering information.  Pray together about that which concerns you and those areas in which you desire for God to move.

4. Pray the Scriptures. 

The Psalms are rich with passages that you can read together as a prayer.  Teach your children the beauty of praying God’s Word back to Him.  If you are not sure where to start you can try these - Psalm 16, 23, 51, 121 or 139.

5. Build a family heritage of prayer. 

While we certainly want to pray for meals, and for others, we shouldn’t neglect to pray for those closest to us in our nuclear or extended family.  One of the best ways for kids to see God work is to pray for the people that they are close enough to see answers when God works. This happens best when we pray for our own family! Start a family prayer journal to record the needs of your nuclear family.  There is nothing wrong with praying as a couple for your family but include your children on some of those requests and be sure and record God’s answers in the journal there as well. Take turns praying for each other.  Try “round robin prayer” where you pray from oldest to youngest or vice versa.  You might even try establishing a “family altar” a certain place where your family gathers together as a matter of habit to pray together (living room, in the children’s room, the dinner table).  Developing the habit of praying together as a family is a beautiful tradition that can draw your family closer and give your children spiritual memories to last a lifetime.

Blessings,

Chrystal Hurst, ChrystalEvansHurst.com

Chrystal Hurst

Chrystal Hurst is writer, speaker, and worship leader in addition to serving as the chief executive operating officer in her home as a wife and mother of five. She is a self-proclaimed "geek" and bibliovore, who is actively seeking help for her addiction to Starbucks, sweet tea, and chocolate chip cookies. Chrystal is co-author of Kingdom Woman . She also blogs and podcasts regularly at Chrystal's Chronicles where she poignantly reflects her thoughts about her faith and day-to-day experiences. Chrystal firmly believes God’s promise in Jeremiah 29:11, “I know the plans that I have for you…” and she desires to help others believe and apply that truth to their lives.

Reading is a Way for Your Teen to Hang Out With People Who Are a Good Influence

Comment
If you have a teenager at home who is spreading their wings as they grow in independence, you want to know that they are being influenced by people of string character... Especially when you aren't around! Why not make the introduction for them with great books to inspire and challenge them? Perfect for this years of growth, these are books you don't want to miss!

We just finished raising our kids. We dropped off our baby at college this week, and he went with his own car keys, bank account, and student loans.  

A few weeks ago, that boy of mine was re-stringing his electric guitar all over the kitchen counter (which he promised me he would clean up when he was done.) I was scrubbing dishes and loading the dishwasher, but I turned off the water and looked at him. 

“Son, I’m not sure I’ve ever told you this, but I am so pleased with you,” I said. “You are the kind of man I always hoped you would be.” 

Caleb loves Jesus, spends his energy serving the Lord, has integrity and a good work ethic, and he’s kind. 

So I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how this happened. How did my child turn out well? Certainly not my perfect parenting. But one thing I know for sure –Caleb is a great guy in large part because of the kind of people he has spent time with all his life. 

I have a suggestion for you, because I know you long to have the kind of teenager you can be proud of: Reading books is one way for your teen to “hang out” with people who are a good influence.  

The three books below highlight people who have loved Jesus with all their hearts. They have done hard things in service to the Lord, and their lives are worth emulating. Their stories are unforgettable and will lodge themselves in your teen's mind.

Three Books Your Teenager Should Read

By Bruce Olson

Bruchko

Bruchko is about a young guy who followed God’s call and took off for the jungles of South America. It’s a story of crazy obedience to God and of perseverance under difficult circumstances. It will leave your teen asking, "Am I willing to follow God wherever he asks me to go?"

By Mike Yankoski, Michael Yankoski

Under The OverPass: A Journey of Faith on the Streets of America

Under The Overpass is about two young guys who purposefully spend months in different cities living homeless. Their perspective on helping people in need is life-changing. Your teen will become acutely aware of the luxuries in his own life, like having food to eat and the ability to bathe. He will be left asking the question, "Do I really care about people who are in great need?"

By Brother Andrew, John Sherrill, Elizabeth Sherrill

God's Smuggler

God's Smuggler is a thrilling story about a young man who was far from God but who was converted and then risked everything to smuggle Bibles behind the iron curtain. Your teen will find himself asking, "Am I ready to follow Jesus?" and, "What is so valuable about the Bible that people would risk their lives to get one?"

I hope you will read one or all three of these books along with your teen and then talk about them. Tell your son or daughter what is valuable to you in these stories, and you will be letting them know what kind of person you hope they will become.

 

Blessings to you,

Christy Fitzwater

Christy Fitzwater

Christy Fitzwater is a writer and pastor's wife in Kalispell, Montana -one hour south of the Canadian border. She has a daughter who is married and a son about to graduate from high school, so she is preparing for meaningful empty nest years. Christy's passion is to help people know and understand God. Read more by Christy at http://www.christyfitzwater.com.