As mamas, we all want to feel like we’re taking the best care of our families as possible. And we try really hard to do it. Especially when it comes to the dreaded dinner time battle.
Kids are picky or the budget is tight or you’re overwhelmed with all the information out there about which is the best way to feed your family… or ALL of the above.
Been there, sis. So, I’m here to encourage you and give you some tips that have really helped with my meal planning, budgeting, and honestly, the way my kids eat!
Ok, first things first. Pull out your oils and diffuse Frankincense + Stress Away while you work. Frankincense is great for focus and Stress Away is amazing for… Stress (no shocker). 5 drops of each.
Now stop, take a deep breath in, and ask God to give you wisdom as you tackle this new challenge. Ask Him to show you a better or different way to move forward in this area of feeding your family and being a good steward with your grocery budget. HE WILL!
It is important as you begin this process to be realistic about your family dynamic and schedule. Acknowledge if you have picky eaters, there are ways to work that into your new eating plan. Or if you have a crazy schedule with lots of games or outings you’ll need to be realistic that a five-course meal might not work on those nights.
Next, you need to think about HOW you want to feed your family. Does anyone have any food allergies that would require you to do gluten or dairy free? I’ve found it to be easier if we all eat the same dinner. I refuse to cook different meals for different people, food allergies or not, I just do not have the time or patience for that. So, when our middle son required a strict diet change, we all did it. I found ways to incorporate his meal needs into meals we could all eat.
I also really like to include my family in my meal planning. I try to let each member of my family pick one dinner meal each week. (For littles I would advise giving them two or three choices so they are staying within the realm of the new way you’re wanting to feed your family) This way, even if there is a meal they aren’t crazy about, you can remind them that THEIR meal of choice is coming. Starve tonight, eat like a king tomorrow. KIDDING… kind of ;)
Ok, now it’s time to plan your meals for the week. Get a calendar of some sort. Write out any activities you have on it so you can make sure your meals fit your schedule, then write out what you’re having each night.
My Geometry teacher had this saying… K.I.S.S. Keep it simple, stupid. Derogatory? Yes. But it stuck with me. The only thing I use or remember from Geometry. HA! But this is so important for you as you meal plan.
Every week we have breakfast for dinner one night and leftovers for dinner one night. What meals can you consistently and easily have on your menu that are quick and take little planning each week? Simplicity is key to sticking with this and not getting overwhelmed.
My next tip is to use an app to help you plan and keep track of your menu. We LOVE Google Keep. I have set up a grocery list and a meal list. I added my husband to these lists and he downloaded the app so either of us can add to the grocery list from wherever we are and it automatically updates the other list.
I also love this app because it stores anything you have previously added to each specific list. So, I can get onto the app, click into the meal list, and see every single meal I’ve ever added to that list. Once you’ve established the way you want to feed your family, this takes SO MUCH guess work out of your meal planning. It’s all right there in a list for you! You just select the meal and it adds it to your list for the week. So flipping easy.
While planning my meals, I like to head to my pantry and fridge and see what I already have in there that I can base a meal around. Say last week we had stew with potatoes and I have some potatoes leftover. This week I could make Kielbasa with peppers and potatoes to use up the rest of my potatoes before they go bad and save me some money at the store. Part of being a good steward of our grocery budget is not wasting any food. It also helps take a bit of the wonder of what we’ll have out of the picture.
As I add a meal to my list, I switch to my grocery list (also in Google Keep), and add every item I will need for that meal, before thinking about and adding the next meal to the list. This helps ensure I get everything I need in one trip. (The store is a long way from our house and I value my time, amen? Amen!)
The last thing I do, is go back through my list and arrange it in order of the store. This is another reason I love Google Keep. It lets you grab, drag, and drop items into whatever order you desire. Putting your list in order of the store helps you stick to what is on your list, saving you time AND money. You’re welcome.
You can do this mama. The fact that you’re here, desiring a better way to feed your family, shows just how amazing you are! Your family is lucky to have you. So am I <3
Love this info? You'll LOVE my guide to being a more peaceful and present mama! Check it out right here!