Saturday, January 17, 2009

Meal Planning

I have been trying to get back-to-basics with healthy eating and frugal cooking, for the benefit of the whole family. The thing that has kept me on track for a few weeks now has also helped to get the kids eating more of our different meals is to have a weekly schedule. Each night of the week is someone's night, with Friday being pizza night. (I still love Whole Foods' pre-made whole wheat crust On the weekends we can finish up leftovers, make a big pot of soup, or have a family favorite like veggie lasagna or field roast. Other leftovers go to lunches for Beo and I.

To make things simple, I compiled a list of main dish options and options for sides, and each week I have everyone choose their menu for their night, and put together a shopping list. The kids not only are more willing to eat their menu, veggies and all, but seem more willing to eat on other nights as well, as though they have a sense of fairness about it all. The kids have been helping out with dinner more too, setting the table, peeling potatoes (they're pretty good!), breaking cauliflower into florets, etc. As I've said before, I think having the kids partcipate in meal prep really helps them to be more open to eating the meal. So, our menu for the coming week:

Monday (Beo): Cauliflower and Potato Tian (Simple Vegetarian Pleasures) and Spinach Salad

Tuesday (Me): Potato Curry with CousCous and Mixed Greens Salad

Wenesday (Sprout): Homemade Mac&Cheese with Lentils and Steamed Carrots

Thursday (Bird): Cannelini Beans and Lemon Cauliflower (both Emeril Green recipes)

Friday: Pizza

Beo has been making bread again, so we often have fresh bread (or pitas/roti) in addition to what's been planned. We sometimes have a little salad or a second steamed veggie as well, but when it's a dish like the tian or curry, it usually is a meal to itself. This plan has helped take the stress out of planning meals for me, has kept us to a tighter shopping list, made it easier for me to plan my day Weight Watchers point-wise, and has made the dinner table a more relaxed and enjoyable place.

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