Meal Planning Made Simple

Do you need a little inspiration when it comes to making dinner?  Maybe making spaghetti every Friday is your routine.  That is great!  You don’t need to reinvent the wheel every week to have a diverse meal plan.  But, what if you don’t have a routine…. or a meal plan?  That is where we want to help you!  Here are a few suggestions for making family dinner time a little simpler:

family meal

First.  Get your whole family involved in planning your menu.  Have a family meeting and allow everyone to make suggestions, share their likes and dislikes.   If you are going to the trouble to make a meal, you want everyone to like it, right?

Second.  Organize your family’s suggestions by meals like breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Also, look at the menu and make sure you are comfortable with the recipes. Depending on how many suggestions you have, make a couple weeks’ worth of menus.  These menus can be used for a long time, changing days around, so you don’t have to have spaghetti every Friday if you don’t want to.

Third.  I suggest scheduling a cooking day.  Decide what recipes you want to make ahead, purchase and gather all the ingredients.  Get your recipes, pots, pans, utensils, apron and music and start cooking!  For example, making a lot of chicken would allow you to make chicken enchiladas, chicken spaghetti, chicken divan or chicken noodle soup.  Making a lot of lean ground beef would allow you to make chili, tacos, sloppy Joes or meatballs.  Try freezing these meals or just make them for the week ahead. If you have the time to prepare ahead, those days that become crazy will be just a little easier by having a dinner already planned… and made.

Remember, get the whole family involved with meal time.  Make sure everybody has a job to do, just like you do.  Whether setting the table, cleaning up or bringing in the grocery bags after a shopping trip, a little bit of help goes a long way and helps make meal planning simple.

photo credit: SalFalko via photopin cc

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