Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Menu Planning: Getting The Kiddos Involved

Lately I have been seriously unmotivated to plan and prepare meals.  Partly I'm out of new ideas, partly I'm tired and don't want to be bothered, and partly nothing sounds appetizing enough to make.  In fact, my motivation was so low last week that I spent an entire day searching on and off for ideas.  I checked every recipe website that I've ever visited, scoured Pinterest boards, and just barely came up with four meals that sounded doable.  Ugh...

So, this week I asked Claude to pray for me to be more motivated to make a plan and to get to the grocery store.  And the results, although not our healthiest weekly menu on record, are looking good.  The difference?  I decided to involve the kids!

This morning I announced that we were headed to the grocery store.  Groans issued from the crew.  Then I told them that they each would have a night to plan and prepare dinner for the family - and they could choose what that meal would be.  They eagerly joined me around the kitchen table and started shouting out their favorite meals.

They took turns creating their meals and deciding what we needed from the store.  Each one was able to have their individual shopping list and a pencil to carry through the store.  They had fun keeping an eye open for the items they needed and even more fun taking those items from the shelf and placing them in the cart.  Then we bagged them up so they each had a grocery bag with every item for their meal.  It took us twice as long to get through the store, but they had fun and I didn't have to rack my brain for meal ideas.  That's a win-win situation if I ever saw one!

Here's the menu plan for the week.  I don't plan weekday lunches and I never plan breakfast.  The kids serve themselves cereal each morning and if we're inspired, we may whip up some waffles (with ice cream, of course!) or bacon and eggs over the weekend.  For lunch we keep things simple.  I almost always have a salad and the kids have PBJ, leftovers, or finger foods (veggies with hummus, crackers, cheese, fruit salad, etc).  I do plan weekend lunches simply because if I don't they catch us off-guard and we don't have much on hand to throw something together.  We even run out of bread during the week if I don't account for sandwiches over the weekend.  True confessions here...true confessions.  :/

Monday: Leftovers
Tuesday--Abigail: Spaghetti, Meatballs, Green Beans, Dinner Rolls
Wednesday--Joshua: Quick Stove Top Vegetarian Chili (we'll be making it in the crock pot), Corn Bread
Thursday--Bible Study Potluck:  Salad
Friday--Hannah: Macaroni and Cheese, Hot Dogs, Carrots with Dip
Saturday:  Picnic Lunch: Sandwiches, Chips, Pickles, Carrots
                  Dinner: Homemade Pizza, Salad
Sunday:  Father's Day Lunch: Ordering Out
                Dinner: Leftovers

How do you plan meals for your family?  What are some family favorites or go-to recipes that you enjoy?


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