Ok, by now, you should have made a decision on the length of time you will meal plan for your family. The next step is to gather your family together and write down a list of everyone’s favorite meals. Include your favorite meals for breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. The list can include meals that you already cook for your family or new recipes you have previously found and wanted to try out on your family (Pinterest, Facebook, etc.). Once your list is complete, look over it to make sure you have enough meals for the time frame you have previously chosen to implement in meal planning. If, by chance, you don’t have enough meals, search online for some meal ideas. Here are some of the recipe websites I frequent for meal planning ideas; http:www.foodnetwork.com, http://allrecipes.com and http://www.epicurious.com. Ensure your meals cover all or at least most of the food groups. For my family, I include fruit with every meal.
This is not the time to try out or add a really complicated meal to your list. Keep it sweet and simple so you are more prone to stick to your meal plan. You can start to add more complicated meals later when you have been meal planning for a few months and have the whole process down to a science.
Also, please carefully think about the people you are feeding. If you have children, you might want to stick to more children-friendly foods like sloppy joes, carrots and a fruit instead of a double smoked salmon with horseradish cream for dinner (http://www.bhg.com/recipe/seafood/double-smoked-salmon-with-horseradish-cream/).
If you chose to meal plan for a week, you would need seven (7) meals each for breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. If you prefer, some meals can be the same each day or totally different. It’s all about finding that perfect balance for your family. You know what your family REALLY enjoys eating and how often they will actually eat a particular meal within a week’s time. So, if your family really likes pancakes for breakfast, then it would be perfectly fine to have pancakes 3 – 4 times in a week. That makes it easier for the person preparing the meal. Yay! On the other hand, if your family does not like pancakes that much, it might be best to only make that meal 1 – 2 times in a week. Yay! Ok, so call a family meeting sometime this week and get everyone involved in this process.