Organizing your family's meals

Crystal finds a solution to managing the meal plans that come with the Healthy Family Challenge.

Bella at her Taekwondo class. Below: Crystal's weekly menu board.

Hello Today’s Parent readers! It’s the first week of the Healthy Family Challenge and my family is eager to get started.

One of the reasons that I jumped at the chance to take part in the challenge was the idea of having a meal plan created for us by a nutritionist. I’m so happy to be picking up some new, healthy recipes to add to my family’s mealtime repertoire. Dinner time used to be a constant source of stress for me and my husband — 75 percent of the time we would come home from work, have no idea what we were having for dinner and, of course, nothing would be thawed.

I recently created a menu board system that I wrote about on my blog Sew Creative. Each week, I give my readers a new recipe to add to their own menu board system. Creating a menu board was something that I had wanted to do for a very long time, but it seemed like it would be way too time consuming. Then I came up with a simple solution. Every day, for one month, I wrote down what we ate for dinner on a recipe card. On the left-hand side of the card I listed each of the ingredients that the recipe required. On the bottom of the card I wrote where I could find the recipe (quite often this was from my Pinterest). Then, on the right-hand side of the card I wrote what my husband needed to dig out of our freezer before he left for work in the morning.

At the end of my first month we had 30 different meals to choose from for dinner. Now I add one or two new recipes a week to keep things new and exciting and pick out old favourites for the other nights. I also have a few cards that have “Leftovers” written on them to slot into nights where I know we will have leftovers from the night before.


My daughter has Taekwondo on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. I find those nights the most challenging. We have 45 minutes between the time that everyone gets home from their daytime activities and when we need to walk out the door. Getting a fast, healthy meal inside of her tummy so she is full of energy is definitely a priority. Meal planning to us has always been about planning out dinner — we often have cereal or Greek yogurt for breakfast and leftovers from the night before for lunch. Breakfast and lunch isn’t usually something where we plan ahead. I like the idea of making Grain Filled Muffins and Big Batch Fruity Oatmeal ahead of time so that my family walks out the door each morning filled up with something nutritious and also made with love by mom.

I can’t wait to explore the new recipes included in the Healthy Family Challenge and to report back next week with my family’s thoughts.

FILED UNDER: