Simplify Your Meal Planning
|September 20, 2011||Posted by carmen under Meal Planning, Quick and Easy, Time Management|
I don’t know why, but for some reason meal planning has always been stressful for me. I know from experience that having a menu planned out for the week makes my week run more smoothly and helps keep me on track getting healthy meals on the table each day. But even with this firsthand knowledge sometimes I fall into a rut and just can’t come up with a week’s worth of menu ideas.
There was a time in my life that this rut lasted for a long time and unhealthy foods started creeping their way back into our home. I started compromising on what I fed my family. Just a little compromise one week, and another little compromise the next, until one day I realized that my kids were in the habit of cold cereal for breakfast every morning and pb&j sandwiches every day for lunch. Not that cold cereal and pb&j sandwiches are evil (well cold cereal actually is really unhealthy, even the “healthy” varieties…more on that in an upcoming post), but they are definitely not things that bring quality nourishment to growing children. They should definitely be eaten only once in a while, if at all, rather than as a daily menu item.
I knew I needed to get back on track, but I also knew that I needed something to make weekly meal planning easier for me. I decided to make a list of all the things that I know my family likes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Now when I go to make my weekly plan all I have to do is choose from my list. It’s so easy!
My requirements for the list are simple:
- Everyone in the family will eat it and enjoy it.
- Easy enough to do on an average day
So, here is my list of tried and true meals and snacks. What a blessing this list has been to me! No longer to I flip through a dozen cookbooks and wade through online recipe sites to come up with my menu for the week. This is simple and simple make me happy.
HB eggs and Fruit
Eggs: scrambled, fried, poached
Nut Butter and jam or honey
Veggies and hummus
Cheese and crackers
Olives and cheese with raw veggie
Salad topped with egg salad, salmon salad, or tuna
Homemade Macaroni and Cheese
Soup/salad/bread(soups: lentil, chicken noodle, potato, taco, Italian, roasted veggie)
Beans and rice
Pasta and veggies (w/butter and herbs or white sauce or tomato sauce)
Chicken or Veggie Fried Rice
Chicken and coconut rice
Spaghetti and meatballs
Breakfast for dinner
|Cheese and crackers
Nut butter balls
Veggies and hummus
How about you. Have you found ways to simplify your meal planning?