Life has been so busy for me over the last several months. Between raising a one year old, starting my business, and training for a 5 mile run it has left me with a limited amount of time. Some nights I’m so exhausted it takes everything I have to finish what has to get done. One thing I have found that is so important is planning ahead for EVERYTHING, including feeding my family! Feeding my family has always been a priority, but as my daughter continues to grow and develop into a competent eater, it has become even more important. It isn’t always easy, but I’m going to give you my insider tips to help plan and feed your family well every night!
I can’t even begin to explain to you why it is so important for everyone in the family to have reliable meals. Just know that when your family knows when and what is planned for the the next meal it will allow everyone to come to the table hungry and comfortable.
Now, my Insider Tips to get you to the table together most nights:
1. Spend 10-15minutes ONE day a week planning out your menu for the week
Note: I usually print out, bookmark, or pin recipes that look good during the week so when Sunday comes I already have some in my databank to pull from. I usually do 1-2 chicken dishes, 1 seafood, 1 red meat, 1 pork, 1 shellfish.
2. Spend 10 minutes making a grocery store list
Note: With all recipes in hand make a grocery store list of what you actually need. I have my list set up by my store layout, but generally, I have it laid out as such: Produce, Deli, Meats/Seafood, Center of the store groceries (cereal, rice, pasta, spices, etc…), Dairy (milk, cheese, eggs), Frozen
3. Grocery Shop
Note: This is my least favorite thing to do, so I’m in and out of that store in 45 minutes TOPS!! The list is made and organized so I get everything on that list and I’m done!
4. Plan Meal Days
Note: Figure out what days you will serve what recipes. For instance, a day you work all day and have an after school activity would be a great day for the slow cooker meal. I also, recommend planning meals with fresh produce at the beginning of the week and use frozen for the end of the week to prevent spoilage and/or second grocery store trip!
Note: Check over recipe the night before to make sure you don’t need to marinate, chop, cut or prep something the night before!
6. The BEST Part….Cook and ENJOY!
If this makes you want to pull out your hair because it looks so complicated, I completely understand! I’m here to tell you that it may take a few extra minutes the first few weeks, but the more you do it the faster and more efficient you will get at it. There is nothing more rewarding then coming home and having a well balanced meal with your family. It will be SO WORTH IT!
Dana Snook, RDN, CIC