Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sanity Saver: The Meal Plan

If you're a parent, we've visited the same hell known as "meal time." It's that time when coincidentally, you just want to go to sleep after a long day rather than think about what to make for dinner, wonder if you should have defrosted something, and then stand at a stove as your children in constant rotation ask what's for dinner, cry "ewwww!" and then ask if it's ready yet.

I don't claim to be the most organized person, but with a full time job, a small business, three children and a house, I can be cut a bit of slack. Thanks for that. Now I'll share my sanity saver: the Meal Plan.

My Meal Plan is a four week schedule of what's for dinner. The important part here is that I didn't create it alone. I sat down with my children and asked them what their favourite foods were. Mine are older, so we didn't get too many outrageous requests, but I still had to use discretion so not everything was slathered in cheese.

I took the list of suggested entrees and sides and made my four week plan. Then I posted it on the friedge. Because my children were involved in the process, they have automatic buy-in. Now they go to the fridge and squeal when they see what's for dinner. My shoulders have come down an inch. My shopping list is virtually created for me each week.

We do stray from the schedule sometimes if I'm away at dinner time or if the children want a special "eat out" night, but now I'm ready in advance of a meal. The energy draining question of what to make, followed by the usual rejection by the children has been eliminated.

Bon appetit!

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