As the September desire to be more organized eeks toward fever pitch, I find myself scrambling for ways to keep both our family meal choices healthy and varied, but also with value and cost in mind. For the most part, I prepare dinners in our household and now, with both boys at school for the full day, I make their daily lunches.
This school year, I vowed I would have a written out plan for all weekday meals that would allow for occasional hot lunch leftovers for Hudson. I would draw up this plan on Friday nights or early Saturday morning prior to going grocery shopping right when No Frills (being cost conscious) opens as the produce is best and the sales are on Saturday. I would take into account the food we would consume on the weekend does not usurp the planning I have made for during the week. I would choose one meal and make it on Sunday morning to provide for at least one dinner and two to three leftover lunches the following day, setting the week off right.
Summer is a gong show, by the last day of school I could not care if they had Pop Rocks and tube cheese for dinner. The remainder of the summer is so built for the mad dash up north on Friday nights, where the meals are fully planned (usually by my sister and stepmother), extremely awesome (see below) and for the most part healthy. This leaves very little thought to the weekday meals where Steph and I still worked and our sons were in camps or at home blowing things up or teabagging each other’s forearms for laughs.
Just one of our many fantastic weekend summer meals at the cottage:
Curried Chicken Roti with mixes green salad and Moroccan Carrot Salad:
So the staples are depleted and fresh food is purchased in intervals, an adhoc run up the street that is occasionally inconvenient and often costly. Throw in the fact that my June surgery allowed me to eat anything (and I did), so lets just say I was not proud of our summer meal choices. Thankfully our kids were so active they managed to shed some pounds or grow an inch or two (not sure which).
So, here I am, the day before my Friday self imposed meal planning session, seeking out online tools to facilitate this potential exercise in futility. And I know this topic is so hackneyed and overwritten, both by the parental blogging community and the consumer brands trying to offer many different meal options that involve hazelnut chocolate spread. But I am seeking the power of community anyway.
Fact: I do basic meals really well. The tomato based pasta sauces, the chili con carne, the Asian stirfry, the BBQ meats, plus starches, plus green vegetables.
Fact: My mother is an awesome cook (I mean awesome) and a very organized person. This post is a veiled attempt to get her to plan my meals for the rest of school year.
Fact: I try to keep it healthy, but often fail because of laziness and ease of prepared foods. Not the horrific stuff made by robots, but the occasional frozen pizza or chicken fingers have made the rounds in the past.
Fact: Hudson, for the most part, is an adventurous eater, trying many different foods from many different cultures, including a wealth of vegetables.
Fact: Tasman likes peanut butter and jam roll ups.
Fact: I don’t bake. Too precise.
So there you have it. I have a partial plan but am looking for ideas for both the actual meals, and the actual planning process.
Do you have a spreadsheet or chalkboard outlining the week’s meals or do you just wing it?