As a parent who heads and manages the household, you know too well the challenges that come with cooking for the family. You will need to think of it carefully to ensure that everyone gets proper nutrition while seeing to it that they also enjoy what they eat. At the same time, you need to make sure that your grocery spending will not spiral out of control.
Sometimes, stress comes with cooking for the family. But when you have planned everything in advance, you will find that the activity itself does not need to be difficult all the time. For starters, meal planning involves the creation of a grocery list that corresponds to the meals you will prepare for the week. This may also help in reducing the processed food consumption of your family.
You may be excited to plan and cook your family’s meals in your beautifully remodeled kitchen, so here are some things that will serve as your head start:
Involve your family members
Sometimes, the planning process can be challenging. But you can make things much easier when you involve your family. After all, they will be the ones who will enjoy the meal. Ask your family what they want to eat for the week and find a suitable day to schedule meals. You already know their likes and dislikes, but still, ask them about it to avoid misunderstandings. In some weeks, you can ask a member of the family to lead the planning process.
Know your family’s schedules
You may want to consider the schedules of your family and the upcoming events that you might have. Are you expecting your kids’ friends to come for a sleepover? Are your in-laws visiting, or are you looking to have a birthday celebration at a restaurant? Answering these questions will help you further streamline your meal plans and decide accordingly. You will be also able to take a night from preparing and cooking.
Don’t be afraid to make some adjustments
Understand that meal plans are just a guide, and they are not set in stone. This means that you still have some amount for leeway and you can make adjustments here and there. Initially, your grocery list may depend on the meals your family wants. But you may want to turn things around if ever — instead of what you’re used to, you may decide on a day’s meals by looking at what you have in the fridge.
Come up with a theme
Some weeks, you may want to have a meal theme per day. For example, you may choose to have a meatless theme for Monday. Crockpot meals are for Wednesday, and you can have a barbecue and grilled food on Sundays.
Now, dine joyfully and healthily! Household management can be overwhelming, but you can make food-related concerns less stressful through meal planning. Take an hour off a week and dedicate it to planning your meal. It will help you to drastically improve your family’s food choices and even eliminate wastage in the process.