Parenting

Organizing our weekly meals

In an effort to organize her kitchen, Karine discovers the benefits of planning a weekly menu.

Photo: snapphoto/iStockphoto

If our house had a brain, it would be the fridge. Everything that has to happen — schedules, reminders, school documents — can be found there. (We purposely bought a standard white fridge instead of replacing our beloved stainless steel one when it died because I wanted to be able to use magnets!)

In my never-ending quest to be more organized, every Sunday I make the Weekday Menu. The kids give input, and we decide what we want for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. (We try to eat gluten-free and dairy-free, and make as much as we can from scratch — but we definitely cheat from time to time.)

I must admit that, initially, I wanted to write it out so I could easily make my grocery list and be more efficient with time and money, but it has additional benefits that I didn’t expect: I love that I no longer have to answer, “What’s for dinner?” This way, there are no surprises and Milla can go downstairs and start the breakfast prep while I jump in the shower or “gently encourage” one of the boys to get out of bed. Better yet, when Jay gets home from work before me, he knows exactly what to make without having to ask. (He is a much better cook than me, anyway, so this is a win-win for everyone.)

I really don’t try to get too creative; I often repeat meals, especially weekday lunches and taco night because, while variety is the spice of life, some foods are a guaranteed hit and I like being able to count on a few favourites during the busy weekdays. Weekends are for experimenting in the kitchen but, for now, planning some quick and nutritious meals everyone will eat is easiest for all of our brains.

I’ve posted this week’s menu below, but I think it would be great if everyone could share a couple of their go-to meals so we can all expand our repertoire.

P.S. You might see waffles, muffins, ice cream and pasta on my list: they are always gluten/dairy free. (Our favourite pasta in made from quinoa.) But the Nutella is a weekly cheat.

Menu for the Week (January 7-11)

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Breakfast Muffins & smoothie Waffles & bacon Cereal/Oatmeal with almond milk Bagel & cream cheese Toast & Nutella
Lunch Leftovers Hot dogs Soup Rice or pasta Chips & Salsa
Dinner Homemade pizza & Caesar salad Taco night Burgers & fries Chicken, pasta, salad Daddy’s choice
Treat Ice cream Cookies Ice cream Brownies Daddy’s choice

 

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