I wrote a couple of weeks ago about a new plan I was starting to help me organize and plan for everyone’s meals in our house. Now that Logan is eating three meals plus snacks daily and I don’t have time to think right before dinner about what he might want, I needed to get organized.
(pancakes for mom because pancakes are a baby favorite so I make a big batch on the weekend to last a few days for him)
I created a document, see below, and it has been such a help. Even though it is messy and I stray from what I wrote everyday, it has been so helpful to plan at least what foods I should buy at the beginning of the week so I have enough by Friday. It has also helped me prep the day before so I am not scrambling in the afternoon to cook something for dinner with an almost-toddler who wants my full attention too. And I don’t like chopping and being around the stove when he is crawling around the floor.
I have found that I prep ahead about twice a week and then fill in during the week. For instance, last Friday I didn’t have to go to the grocery and actually ended up only going once that week on the Sunday. So on Friday in about an hour’s time (plus cleanup), I steamed apples, cooked ground turkey with herbs and tomatoes, cooked a polenta log, and baked oatmeal cookies (not for baby). What’s the point of dirtying the kitchen if there’s nothing in it for adults?
I also roasted a tray of veggies (squash, zucchini, sweet potato) the night before because I needed it for his Friday lunch, but that would also be something I would do ahead. I have also hard boiled eggs ahead and made mac and cheese on other days, or a few days worth of plain pasta.
Writing down adult meals has also been going well. We have stuck to our plan, I think also because it’s realistic. Three days of cooking is awesome for us, plus one day of leftovers and one day of eating out (during a Sunday-Thursday work week). Plus leftovers for my lunches and breakfast taken from home too. And we usually pick up or eat out on a normal Friday-Saturday. This past week, we used our slow cooker on one weeknight and cooked on the other nights.
(all made in about one hour with no one home to distract me–polenta rounds from a tube, ground turkey with herbs and tomatoes, steamed apples. Cookie dough in the back, cookies down the page)
Actually, Jeffrey is usually the chef during the 6 p.m. hour and I plan the meals, prep the food sometimes and buy the groceries.
The planning on the weekends (usually on a Saturday or Sunday morning) is sometimes hard to figure out what we want during the week, but it makes my weekday afternoons so much more calm to know our pantry and fridge is stocked with something I already thought about. Then I just have to follow directions.