Now that the kids are back in school and everyone is getting into the swing of normal life I thought that I would share with you some tips I have for making sure your family eats healthy meals all week.
When I am getting ready for the days ahead I almost always go through the same process which starts with my families calendar (there is a great one at Costco or at this link http://moretimemoms.com/shop/shop-all/family-organizer-2016). The first thing I do is look at what plans we have for the week. Does my husband have a dinner meeting in the evening. Do we have family/friends visiting, is there a practice, or lessons or anything else that will affect our dinner plans each night.
Once I have taken note of what our plans are, I plot them out on our weekly meal sheet (follow link for the one I use http://www.greenchildmagazine.com/weekly-meal-planner-free-printable/). This helps me figure out if I need to make something simple, or if I want to plan a more elaborate sit down dinner with all of us.
Then the fun part starts. I usually get my cooking inspiration from two places. Either my large cookbook collection with my favourites bookmarked, or Pinterest (www.pinterest.com). Pinterest is great because you can type in food that you are craving, and it will give you literally 100’s of recipes to choose from. I have a board called ‘Food’ and it is full of ideas for meals I plan to make in the future.
Finally, based on the plans we have for the days ahead, I fill in my weekly meal sheet with what I will be preparing. Some nights it is a simple fritatta or crockpot stew. Other nights its more elaborate and time-consuming. Then it is time to post on the fridge/icloud/bulletin board.
Once the plan is written up and put where the family can see it, I take note of what ingredients are required and create my grocery list. The great thing about this is that your list will consist of just the foods you need to make the meals you have planned. So no more wondering what you are going to have for dinner each night, and your meat and veggies are used up in just a few days.
Lastly, I head out to the grocery store/farmers market and stick to buying only the groceries I need to follow this plan. I am not going to say that I am perfect (the occasional bag of beantitos for snaking makes it into my cart) but I do generally stick to only the ingredients needed for the weekly plan.
The best part about this approach for me is that it puts all the thinking/planning up front on the weekends when I have the time to do it. Instead of waiting until dinner time each night and thinking ‘what’s for dinner tonight?’.
I hope that you find this post helpful in keeping you and your families eating healthy and living the best life possible.
If you have any tips of your own, please feel free to share them with me.