Clean Eating, Menu Planning

Oh the Menu Planning

So I have been attempting to menu plan for the last 2 days now. It is 9:30pm on a Friday night and I finally got it done. Planning out a menu for the week is vital to my sanity. With 7 mouths to feed, and crazy schedules I could’t imagine trying to figure out meals on top of it each day. I think I would lose my mind. So in comes my handy-dandy IMG_0092white board. I was hoping today at nap time I would get this board filled in and grocery list made on Wunderlist. One child napped and one didn’t so my board was still empty when the rest of the kiddos came home from school today. If you have kiddos you know how the routine goes. Walk through the door and they have the stories from the day to tell! Plus can’t forget to have the snack ready because by golly they are “starving” and can’t function until they have something to snack on. So it is snack and stories at the table. Believe me there are times when I just want to finish what I am doing, but I try my best to let that go and give them my full attention when they walk through the door. I do miss them and want to hear all about the exciting or not so exciting day they had.

So after dinner it was back to the drawing board. I love getting my kiddos input of what they want for the week so I take suggestions, and a lot of them usually make it somewhere in the week. I have recently started keeping my menus in a spreadsheet. This way it gives me ideas to fall back on when I can’t think what I want to make, or if I want to have something (such as the eggplant dip) that I haven’t had in a long time. I do my best to keep my menu simple. There are times where we will have the same thing for breakfast all week long, and there is nothing wrong with that at all. Most days what we have fIMG_0093or dinner is for lunch the following day. Therefore, we eliminate food waste and leftovers get eaten up; plus it makes putting lunches together a breeze. My board then hangs up inside my pantry door. This way every one knows what is on the menu that day. Furthermore, the older girls like to help throw lunches together once they are ready for the morning. Having the menu visible makes it easy for them to gather the food for their lunchbots. So this is our menu for the first 5 days. At the bottom of the board I added food I know I am getting that is on sale, and food that I need to prep for snacks during the week.

When we first made diet changes 4 years ago some of the food on here my kiddos would not have touched. But 4 years of steady clean eating meals, it is normal every day food for them. So if you are making diet changes, especially with your kiddos be patient and stay consistent. You will also eventually get in a grove and figure what works best for you and your family. Keep it simple, and don’t over do it. Maybe only try 1 new recipe a week or every 2 weeks. Take some of your family favorites and tweak them with healthier alternatives. Keep your proteins simple. Try to use similar proteins during the week so you are not buying multiple  cuts of meat.  This is one key point I have to remember because buying 5 different types of key proteins a week can make it harder to prep or even more expensive.  Keep coming back this week to my blog, as I will be sharing some of these recipes! If you would like a copy of this menu comment below and I will send it to you.  Happy Menu Planning!IMG_0095

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