The other day I realised that I had stopped using my meal planner to plan ahead what we were having for dinner each night. Things have been very hectic around here lately, with my study demands and work commitments, and I was just getting to the end of the day and slapping something together with no thought at all. I figured my family was actually lucky to be getting something cooked for them at all, even if I was sticking to a few easy recipes that don’t take too long to prepare. There’s nothing wrong with that, but we weren’t getting a varied and nutrient rich diet like I strive for. Being so busy I am also very mindful that I need to be eating right or my body will crash and burn with the pressure and stress I am subjecting it too with those deadlines and my workload.
So I decided to get the meal planner out again, but give it a little twist.
Get the printable version in the link below.
I have written about my meal planner before on my old blog, how I try to stay organised with planning out meals, which also helps me plan my grocery shopping. I even shared a free printable meal planner with you. I figure there might be more of you out there also struggling at the moment, or who just want to be more organised, so here it is again for you. Meal Planner. You can print it out and pop it on your fridge like I do.
Today I decided to make it a little easier on myself (I’m still very busy), so I put a bowl and a stack of paper on the kitchen bench and told my kids and hubby to write down their favourite main meals and pop them in the bowl. They had all day to think of dishes they liked. See what I did? I got them to do all the hard work.
Then all I had to do was pick out meals from the bowl, just like a lucky dip, and write them on the meal planner, which also gives me a shopping list for the week. Too easy. Not to mention that it allows them to feel like they have a say in the meals and will delightedly tell everyone when I serve it up that they chose this one.
Don’t be scared they are going to just write down the ‘junkie’ choices. You might get a few of those, but you might also be surprised with what they come up with. My daughter asked me for pizza the other night. I said “that pizza is not good for us” to which she replies “no not that pizza mum, the one you make thats healthy.” How can you argue with that! Today while they were brainstorming, I heard many of our regulars being added to the bowl and the kids asking each other “whats the one with that sauce and we have it with the cauli-rice?”…that would be curry. I do love them!
Have a little faith and give them the opportunity to let you know some of their favourites. It could also be a great opportunity to talk with your kids about why we might have treats like homemade pizza every now and then, but how thats not really healthy for us to have all the time.
Did I also mention that planning out your meals can actually help you lose weight too (if thats your goal)? By planning out the meals, buying those healthy ingredients (and sticking to it), you have a better chance of reaching your goals and losing weight or just optimising your health with real food.
I hope by sharing this it makes things a little easier for you, I know its already taken one or two items off my list for the week.