“Mom, can I have a popsicle for breakfast??”
“Moooooommmmmm, wha’ts for snack?”
“Mom, what’s for dinner??”
“Hey mom, can we order pizza??”
I know I’m not the only one that hears these question on the regular. It can be SO draining! Over and over again. Day after day. Trying to figure out what to feed yourself , your kids, and your spouse. Take into account that your providing 3 meals (plus snacks) every day plus you need to adhere to everyone’s dislikes, allergies, texture issues, etc. It can be downright overwhelming! In fact, just typing that out was making me feel stressed, whew.
So how do we do it? How do we make sure that we are feeding everyone at least somewhat healthy meals without causing ourselves decision fatigue??
First we have to understand that we aren’t always going to make everyone happy. But we can definitely make them more interested in the food we are eating by letting them help plan AND prepare meals. Even if it is just letting them choose 1 meal a week or a couple side dishes a week. Or maybe let them choose breakfast from a pre-approved list of foods that are easy for them to prepare. My 11 year old LOVES to cook and will often make breakfast for her and her brothers. My 6 year old loves to make himself a pb&j for lunch. They can learn early on to make simple things.
Second, have a list of meals that your family loves. Choose 4-5 of these for each meal of the day. Then choose a couple new meals to try. You can reserve one night for take-out if that’s your jam (it sure is mine!) or make it a frozen meal kinda night. You can even have certain meals certain days. i.e. taco tuesday, spaghetti sunday, movie night and take out saturday etc. My kids love this!
Use a Meal Service
Another great way to take away some of the stress is to use a meal service of some sort. Territory Foods is one of my favorites. They offer single serve meals in your diet style of choice and they can be delivered or picked up. They recently started offering family meals as well, which I am super stoked about! Their tagine chicken salad is my FAVORITE food on this earth. No lie. #ad (the link gets you $25 off your first and second orders) My other favorite meal service right now is EveryPlate. They have super yummy recipes, and it’s a great way for us to try out new things. My 11 year old is usually the one to make these. She loves to learn new cooking skills and trying new foods, so this is all her. The only downside is that they don’t offer recipes for special diets. I just choose meals that align closest with my choice to eat whole foods. ( #ad the link gets you $20 off your first order making it almost free for 2 servings 3 meals).
Use a Meal Planner
My last, and most important tip. PLAN IT OUT. Seriously. I save money. have less food waste, eat out less, eat more nutritious foods, and more, when I actually sit down and use my meal planner. I have a meal plan binder that I made that has everything I need in it to plan our meals for the week. Well, I do use a few cookbooks and websites when I’m looking for new things to try. But other than that. It makes my life SO MUCH EASIER.
Here’s how I do it:
1: Grab my weekly planner and my meal planner 2: Mark off days we have activities or special things to do (this helps me know what I have time to actually make that day) 3: Plug in breakfasts, lunches, and snacks (we eat these things on repeat throughout the week i.e. egg and veggie quiche or smoothies and waffles or yogurt and granola with fruit etc for breakfasts) 4: Now I check what nights we have sports and choose easy meals, InstantPot/CrockPot Meals, or make ahead meals for those nights and plugin our go-to meals. 5: I can now choose a couple new meals from our cookbook stash or my fav websites and put those on the days left. 6: I go over my recipes, pantry and inventory freezer lists, and make my shopping list. 7: Order my groceries!! and put my menu plan on the fridge so EVERYONE can see it so I don’t have to answer questions about food all day, lol.
This helps my stress level ( and budget ) so much!!
And just for being so awesome and reading my blog, you can get my Meal Plan Binder printables for HALF OFF!! (That’s only $2.50!!) The bundle includes a binder cover, weekly meal plan, shopping list, recipe pages, freezer inventory page, pantry inventory page, and kitchen measurement cheat sheet! You can grab it here using code BLOGREADER
Even if you don’t use mine. If you choose to use a notebook, or printed meal planner, or your phones notes, I implore you to at least give it a try.
Much Love, Katrina