Menu planning seems to come easy for me. I'm not sure why but I get it and I'm good at it! But as I was enjoying the company of a dear friend this weekend, I discovered not everyone gets it. Over the next couple of weeks, let's explore the inner workings of my brain and see what we can do to help everyone "get it."
Eat on purpose.
Ok, ok. I know we don't "accidentally" eat an entire pan of spaghetti or a carton of ice cream. As silly as it may sound I ask myself why we will be eating what/when we do this coming week. We keep a pretty full schedule between jobs, church and 4 kids! What is the purpose of each meal? Is it to hold us over until a big feast later that night? Does it need to be quick? Do I need it on the go? Who will have an emotional crash if we go too long without eating? Do the kids need to stay clean or will it be ok to get messy? How fast do we need to eat and be out the door?
If you answer those kind of questions for each meal, you can choose recipes that fit your schedule.
Eating on purpose is all about the ease of life!
Eat on purpose to give your body and your family's bodies the nutrition it needs to stay healthy and strong.
Eat on purpose to free yourself from unmet expectations. A four-course meal isn't necessary every day! Sometimes, you just need to fill tummies so you can get to the next activity.
Eat on purpose to set the example. Little eyes are always watching our behavior. Choose fresh, raw fruits or veggies over chips. Make On The Go Bags instead of swinging by McDonald's. Lead by example.
Eat on purpose so you have time to enjoy life together. I have been on the side of rushed dinner, rushed cleaning of kids, rushed bathroom breaks, rushed to get out the door on time (yet only to still be late). Plan your meal so it frees you from being "rushed."
Days that are action packed require protein packed meals/snacks. They may also require super simple meals. When we are pressed for time, our On The Go Bags often consist of: string cheese, ham or turkey rolls (thinly sliced carrots & zucchini rolled in one slice of lunch meat), grapes, broccoli pieces and a few graham crackers.
This week on our menu, I have days that extremely opposite! One day has nothing planned, which will allow us to make a trip to the grocery store and then prep our food for later this week. But I also have one day that we are gone from morning to night. And there is even a sitter in there! That day will require On The Go Bags for lunch and snacks and a freezer meal for the sitter (who may or may not be able to cook- but this beats ordering take out).
Have fun, eat well, enjoy life!