Welcome to Family Food Friday's! I have been trying to get this series of posts happening for a while after taking a break from Toddler Food Tuesdays (see what i do with wordplay…i know…so clever and original i am!!!)
Last week i wrote about my desire…no the need to begin meal planning again and how i had let things slide a little in this department. Seems i am not alone in this area of household planning…not surprising of course, we are all so busy and the best intentions are often waylaid under piles of washing, nappy changing and generally getting messy with kids underfoot!
I really enjoyed reading through everyone's comments (and emails) and got some great ideas and a renewed sense of enthusiasm for this task….so i figured i would make the meal planning exploits (cocky aren't i?) a part of my Friday posts along with some recipes that i think are worth sharing….old favourites and new! Hopefully they might provide you with some inspiration as well (or at the very least a laugh as i explain what didn't work that week…i plan to be very honest with you all!!!)
I'm still working on a template that is a good fit for me as i have decided i want to include a section i can also write down what i will give the twins that night….I'd really love them to have our meals each night but i have to face reality and that just isn't going to be feasible each night yet so i will aim to have a few meals that can be modified for them but also some meals and finger foods that can be frozen for the nights when they won't eat our meals. Toddlers will be toddlers…no getting around it i am afraid.
I'll share our family meal plan plus any meals i am making for the twins each week and also include my ‘wish list' of baking to be done….but unfortunately baking only happens when it can at the moment so a plan is well and good but not promising it will happen. Frustrating as i love to bake but this is all about making things a little easier until i get back into the swing of meal planning!
I have started by digging out an old folder and giving it a new lease of life with a title page and lots of little plastic sleeves. I think i was hoping that perhaps it would write the meal plans itself if i made it pretty enough but alas that is not to be so i had a good sit down with my favourite cookbooks and have written out this week's plan which will start on Monday (yes i know i should have started last week….but i didn't….had to fix the folder up first you see…..)
I am still deciding whether to go with one of the free printables i gave you links to in THIS POST or make up one of my own as i want to include a section for the toddler twosome's meals as this area is causing me the most stress! Perhaps if they are planned in advance instead of 4pm everyday i will feel more able to get on top of this time of day.
For now i am actually using this easy template from the lovely Kate at Picklebums as there is enough space for me to do both…she has lovely colours on there too but as i am nearly out of ink i just went with plain old black and white!
As i write the plan i am trying to use what we already have in the fridge and freezer but if other things are needed i write them straight onto the shopping list. Our shopping bills have been creeping back up again and i'm sure this has to do with me making continual trips to the supermarket throughout the week!
This week is a test….i shall see what works and what doesn't and modify over the next few weeks as i need to have a system that works well and is easy or i will give up again i fear!
So let's get to it…..i am hoping by having the plan in my folder and in print on the blog i shall be more inclined to stick with it (that's the plan anyway…if you don't hear from me next Friday then ahem…you can infer that the plan didn't exactly pan out….)
Family Meal Plan – 6th-12th August
Monday ….. Shepherd's Pie (oldie but a goodie and toddler friendly)
Tuesday…..Penang Chicken Noodles (Tara might eat)
Wednesday…..Slowcooker Beef Stew (toddler friendly if they feel like it!)
Thursday…..Chicken, Mushroom & Lentil Pie (mini muffin tin pies for the twins…new one i am trying!)
Friday…..Satay Pork Kababs & Rice (Hoping the lure of peanut butter sauce may entice Ruby to eat meat but not very hopeful!)
Saturday…..Roast Vegie & Spinach Quiche (No hope with the girls i fear)
Extras for Toddler Twosome
Macaroni Cheese Bake (to portion & freeze)
Chicken Mince Sausages (we are working with the OT on ways to get Ruby to eat meat other than spoon fed so trying some homemade sausages again)
Lamb and Rice casserole (to portion & freeze)
Crunchy Vegie Fingers and Risotto Balls (new recipes to entice more self feeding…it's all about a crunchy texture for Ruby with her sensory issues!)
(because i am still optimistic at this stage!)
Mini zucchini muffins
Date & Cashew truffles
Ok the plan is in place…a little shopping to do and hopefully some batch cooking on the weekend and i think i will be prepared. Trying to do as much as i can the night before or early morning so as to not ‘waste' nap times or stress at the 4pm arsenic hour!
No recipes this week i'm sorry as the post is already longer than i intended (but you have come to expect wordy from me i know 😉 ) I shall share a few with you next week…please do let me know if there are any on the plan you are particularly interested in though!
Thanks so much for your helpful comments and links last week…am still working my way through them and taking snippets of wisdom from each!
Right…..let's do this thing!!!
Your menu plan sounds great. Like I said on my last comment on your menu plan dilemma, I too account for Grace. If she is eating our meal, I tick underneath ours, if not, I write in an alternative for her, usually a meal I have for her in the freezer or something simple to make. The planner I made for myself has a column next to my meals where I record my shopping list so I can jot down next to each meal what ingredients I need to buy for it. Hope your week of meals goes smoother for you and that you find meal planning has helped the meal time full-on part of the night x
What a yummy menu plan that you have there. It does make life so much easier having things all bought and written down so you don’t have to go to the shops all the time. I love to meal plan and sit down each Sunday night and write mine out, nothing fancy just in my diary and then on a little note on the fridge for everyone to have a look at so they know what we will be eating which they seem to like. I hope that all your hard work goes well this week for dinners and baking. xx