It’s something I do every week.
Honestly, I’d be lost without it. It saves my sanity when my children start whinging at that critical 4pm “tired/cranky/hungry/I need attention/I want attention/I demand attention” time! The other really great benefit is that when I go to the shops I have an exact list of what I need, meaning I’m less likely to impulse-buy, and I have less food wastage at the end of the week.
I don’t plan a meal every single night as there are always leftovers to tide us over for a night or two. And I always make sure to keep one meal a week really really simple i.e. eggs on toast with some steamed/roast vegetables, or baked beans with toast and some fruit – these nights are a sanity saver and are great when you’re exhausted at the end of a long day or come home from work late and need something quick and easy to whip up.
Not every meal has to be gourmet. When I’m stuck for ideas at home, I break the meal into 3 parts (note these are just my go-to ideas based on my children’s food preferences):
✔a good source of protein e.g. lean cut of meat, eggs, fish (canned is OK), or legumes
✔some low-GI carbohydrates e.g. wholegrain bread, rice, pasta, noodles, sweet potato or potato
✔some non-starchy vegetables or salad
Being the micro-manager I am, I also tend to plan out mine and my children’s snacks for the week as well (loosely)…mainly I just make sure to have enough of the following to eat every day:
✔a couple pieces of fruit
✔yoghurt and cheese
✔some vegetables we can snack on i.e. vegetable sticks or cherry tomatoes.
Plus I’ll also make sure to bake some savoury muffins or a slice for some extra snacks over the week (with some added sneaky vegetables of course).
I’m hoping this will pay off in a big way this year with my oldest starting Kinder. Pre-planning will hopefully save me precious time in the morning deciding what to pack in her lunchbox (anyone else having to start packing lunchboxes this year?).
Who else is an enthusiastic meal planner? I know I can’t be the only one!
I encourage you all to give it a go next week!