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I made these for the girls last year and this morning, so it is officially a tradition!  I used a meat pounder to break a candy cane into tiny pieces then threw it in with the pancake batter. After the pancakes were cooked, I used a Christmas cookie cutter to shape them and shook green and red sprinkles on them. I just wish I had put the sprinkles away before the baby got to them…

 

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M is for Meal Magnets

Having struggled with meal preparation since I headed off to college in 1991, I’ve experimented endlessly with weekly and monthly meal plans that never really helped or were used. I’ve purchased expensive meal planning and grocery shopping list software and worked for hours to set it up. I’ve tried online tools. But it all seemed like too much work and didn’t leave room for last minute changes.

I guess from the get go I knew it was only a matter of time before the idea of Meal Magnets wasn’t just mine.

In the spring of 2008, I devised a little way to organize our meas in hopes of cutting down on our ever growing eating-out-so-much habit which included dozens of small index cards taped above the stovetop. In addition to being a fire hazard, it wasn’t as practical as it could be, but I finally found a method that worked for me.

A friend asked asked what all this madness above my stove was about and I confessed to her my meal prepping challenges and failures. She pointed out that if I made them into magnets and stuck them on the fridge I could probably sell them. So, I got to work and called my school friend Angela to put together a product using supplies from her promotional gift company.

At that time, I searched the internet for references to meal magnets or anything to do with meal planning and magnets and came up with only one other product that was being sold by a homemaker in England so I figured that I didn’t have much competition. I spoke with attorneys and got the low down on patenting products. I created this blog to advertise the magnets and started selling them at the gift shop where my husband works, at Bibelot, and a little store called Auntie Em’s that used to be in South Minneapolis. I even received an order from a woman in Kentucky who had found Meal Magnets on the internet.
After several weeks of tinkering and implementing the many wonderful ideas and suggestions from various friends and family members including my dear friend Angela who helped me design the size, tweek the meal ideas, and order the supplies from her promotional business, I finally developed Meal Magnets.

What I love most about this product is that it’s inexpensive, visual, and easy to customize. I like the ability to change my mind at the last minute and often need a reminder about the other meals I can make and have made in the past. I really hope this product helps you and your family, saves you money as you avoid dining out and more efficiently grocery shop.

In early 2009, I learned I was pregnant with our second child and the pregnancy was a difficult one with lots of morning sickness. Most of 2010 was spent feeding, changing, and rocking this new little addition, so I haven’t spent too much time marketing or selling this little invention.

I figured it’s only a matter of time until someone else creates a very similar product and starts selling it. So, tonight when I happened to do a Google search on Meal Magnets, it was with mixed feelings that I came across a number of “How to make Meal Magnets” websites. My first reaction was, darn…it’s out there. I’m not the only with this idea, the second reaction was, how cool, I came up with something just like they did, the third reaction was hey, these are all kind of cumbersome how-to websites not a put together package, like mine! The fourth reaction was, well, perhaps we’ll be seeing products like this in the store soon.

This blog makes the task look pretty easy but isn’t so pretty to look at

This blog is my favorite and has adorable meal magnets you can make yourself

This one looks like a fun craft project for kids

This one is kind of neat because it has pictures on it – helpful for involving a pre-reading kid on the meal planning action

This blog has a bunch of different meal planning ideas that look kind of fun to do

Lastly, Amazon is selling a food magnet product but it’s a little different and is focused on nutritional content of different foods.

I hope you get a chance to check out all these great sites and if you don’t feel like making them on your own, give me a “Holla!” and I’ll help you out. Information on how to purchase Meal Magnets is on my Meal Magnet blog, leave me a comment, or send me an email: meganmmc@yahoo.com.

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