Family Meals and Meal Planning

As more and more places are cancelling meetings. events, and classes we will be spending more and more time together at home. Now is a great time to start having family meals if you haven’t before. They don’t need to be anything fancy but gather your family at least once a day whether it is breakfast, lunch, or dinner, whatever will fit into your schedule. This is the time that we learn the most from our kids about what is going on. Ask the open ended questions about life, the future, or even future meals.

Your family can help prepare the meal too! It is a great bonding time and you are teaching them a valuable tool.  At the bottom of this page and all my blog pages is a search tool. You can search by main ingredient – chicken. Type of food – Italian. Or category –  soup or breakfast. Go to Google and search too. Find new foods and remember old favorites.

Someone asked about meal planning during this time. The simplest way is to make an inventory of your refrigerator/pantry and have a current list of all your supplies. This will help you ensure that you use up the perishables before they need to be thrown away. From your list make a plan of meals. One of the best ways to begin is by making each day a certain type of meal. One of the standard ways I used was:

  • Soup and Bread Monday
  • Casserole Tuesday
  • Meat Wednesdays
  • Breakfast for Dinner Thursday
  • Pizza/Chinese Friday
  • Hearty Weekends (I always prep for the week and make the larger meals on the weekend when I have extra time)

But, find what works for you! If your family loves a certain type of food Mexican Wednesdays or Italian Fridays. Make it work for you and your family or you will not stick with it long term.  Write down your plan for the week so everyone can see it. Post it on the refrigerator or cupboard. That way they can see you need chicken for a meal in two days and someone can pull it from the freezer. Again, make this a family project. Have them help you plan. What does your family want for Casserole day? If they help they will be more likely to eat the meal AND help you prepare it.

It doesn’t need to be overly fancy either. You know you have carrots that are starting to wilt? Make a meal with those carrots – throw them in the soup or casserole. But, the idea is to use them.  Even if you just blanch them and freeze them it is better than throwing the carrots away.

Good luck! We are all in this together.


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