Weekly Dinner Menu… WHAT?

My newest challenge is trying to get a healthy, happy meal on the dinner table, preferably before 9:00 pm. Yes, I find it a lot easier to run to the local fast food restaurant, or grab a quick meal out of the cupboard, but is it really all that healthy? Now with a 1 1/2 year old, I find I want to put more focus around healthy eating so that I can teach my little guy how to eat right from the start and why eating healthy is important. My husband and I have never really put a lot of focus on this. Except for those special times each year, you know what I mean, just before summer when you want to loose some weight for bikini season, or just after Christmas when you managed to eat all of Grandma’s cookies! I feel I need to make this idea of healthy eating a priority in our home, so one day it will be the norm in our home. Now… wouldn’t that be nice.

So last week was my first, planned and successful Weekly Dinner Menu. The key to my success: making sure I gathered all the ingredients on the weekend so that I did not have to frantically run out the day of and grab what I was missing. This made for a successful meal plan. This week, to add to the success, I have implemented meal planners/cooks. I take on two dinners a week and my husband makes two dinners a week. I am also trying to make Pizza Fridays a staple in my home so that I know exactly what we’re having at the end of a busy week. I also have high hopes that my little boy, one day, will be one of the cooks!
This extra help takes the stress off of me to plan and make every meal. Its hard to be creative everyday, especially at the beginning when I am just trying to get a system in place.

Useful tools:

1. I love my slow cooker! I can make the majority of the meal the night before. The next day when I get home from work, the meal is ready and waiting.

2. I have also found prewashing the fruits and vegetables is very helpful. By that I mean, when I get home from the grocery store or market, I wash all perishable items (as required). That way when I need them I just grab and go. So much easier!

So to get started, make sure to have a weekly plan, listing the day, the item and the person in charge… This is my first weeks attempt, which is obviously a working progress but none the less a list. That’s gotta be better than nothing at all!

Screenshot_2013-09-23-11-40-02                        food
(My first attempt at a Weekly Menu)              (My son eating one of the homemade dishes)

With a list, me and my fellow cooks have something to follow. It also comes in handy if a dinner doesn’t work out on the day I had planned… I can swap it for a different day.
I am really looking forward to continuing this with my family, and being more descriptive in my menu planning. I’m working on including exactly what the item will be instead of just “pasta dish” and getting the whole family involved. It’s all part of learning and training myself to do things differently. But I know in the end it will be good for all of us.

Let’s see how the next few weeks go…!!

Any suggestions for me and my family on how to make the Weekly Dinner Menu more successful? How does your family get through the weekly dinners? Are you a ‘meal planner’ or ‘cook as you go’ type?

Until next time,

Elisa