Fun with Meal Planning
I know what you're thinking... how could meal planning possibly be fun?! Meal planning is challenging; especially when you are cooking for a family. It is difficult to figure out meals that everyone will eat, meals that are nutritious, and meals that won't break the bank. Not to mention meal planning takes time, something many of us are lacking.
A couple of years ago, when my son was a brand-new baby, I started watching a show on BYU television called "The Food Nanny." (Insert Link: http://www.byutv.org/show/4f383f98-6b31-4661-a832-e73a27a4d6ab/). Since I was awake most of night, (for many nights), I watched all four seasons of this show. The Food Nanny's real name is Liz Edmunds. Liz travels around the world, visiting families with the intent to rescue their dinner time. She believes that dinner time is the most important time of the day where families can share the best of everyday life together.
When Liz goes into a home where they are struggling with dinner time, one of the first things she does is teach them how to meal plan. She suggests creating a 2-week plan. Now here comes the fun part... Liz recommends choosing themes for each night of the week. For example, Monday night is Mexican night, Tuesday night is Seafood night, Wednesday night is Grill night, etc. After watching Liz's success with this method, I decided to give it a try and created theme nights for my family based on the foods we like to eat. I was amazed at how much more fun my meal planning became! It was easier to come up with ideas for meals, I was more focused, spent less time planning, and my family started looking forward to the theme nights and eating better. I also created boards on Pinterest for each of my theme nights so that I could regularly add new ideas and recipes to them. I felt so organized! And I should also mention that using theme nights combined with the Cook'n software makes meal planning even easier. Just enter you meal plan into Cook'n and you will automatically have your shopping list. Another way to save time!
So if you're struggling with meal planning, give theme nights a try! What themes will you choose? If you have picky kids, might I suggest "Breakfast for Dinner Night"? That night is always a hit at our house!
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