And I quote, “Why do they have to eat dinner every night?”. Cooking stresses me out. I love to bake and bakers gonna bake, bake, bake, bake, bake.
However, because healthy family meals are a priority for me, more so the relationships and memories that are built around the dinner table, I have had to find a meal planning system that works for me. Many of my followers ask how I organize my meals, so I’ve outlined how I organize my families dinnertime.
- I always plan two weeks of meals at once. I find it such a tedious task, I definitely don’t want to do it more often than necessary.
- I only plan Monday-Friday meals, with Saturday being left overs and Sunday brunch.
- I generally only plan dinners. Breakfasts are smoothies, Paleo breads/granola, eggs or oatmeal type food. Lunches are leftovers, sausage and veg, or simple dishes that we can eat quickly before nap time. (I also find baking soothing. Baking comes naturally to me so when I feel like doing something “fun”, I often bake a loaf, muffins etc. that Hazel and I enjoy for breakfast.)
- To make my planning easy: Mondays = chicken, Tuesdays = beef, Wednesdays = fish/eggs, Thursdays = pork, Fridays = soup/salad.
- I don’t always plan 100% of my veggies. I often keep veggies simple or can find some quick inspiration on Pinterest.
- Plan flexibility. Sometimes, things just don’t go to plan. That’s life. Recipes flop, activities run late and inspiration runs dry. Enjoy grace.
- My husband and I share a joint calendar in our iPhones called “meals”. In this calendar, I list the meal and the link or cookbook/page for the recipe. If something comes up, my hubby can take the reigns and have the ingredients to succeed.
- We often change and swap meals around depending on our moods or if we have guests etc. This is super easy to change in our calendars and I can simply swap the schedule around with a tap of the finger.
- I buy produce every week and meat every two weeks. I mainly shop at Costco and Superstore to stay on budget, with a few trips to the local Planet Organic for speciality items.
- Snacks in our house are popcorn, fruit and veg or dried fruit. My toddler is a picky eater so we are intentional about what packaged foods we buy.
- Pinterest is my main tool for finding new and interesting recipes, but I also use four main cookbooks: Against All Grain, Looney Spoons, Juli Bauer and Jamie Oliver.
- Another great resource:friends. I am always asking my friends if they’ve tried anything new lately.
- I find using my crockpot not the easiest tool during this stage of life. Getting out the door to morning activities is enough of an ordeal and stress inducer, to put a meal on before I leave the house, would be asking me to pour Whiskey in my coffee. When I use my slowcooker, I prepare it on mornings that I know are home days.
- The majority of my recipes are grain, gluten and dairy free. However, I do cook glutinous and dairy-laden meals for my family who don’t have stomach issues.
I will be posting my meal plans next week … stay tuned.