With springtime here, and summer days on the horizon, it is important to get our meal planning in order. It may sound like a bit of a wearing process, but it's really not. Especially if you simplify to the max. And that is one important thing for the warm days ahead. Children, if they are anything like mine, are going to want to be outdoors, not inside! That being said, we mama's are going to have to try real hard to come of up with simple meals that are nourishing and full of protein and energy for their little bodies. Lots of energy is being burned as those little legs run hither and yon in the warm sunshine!
My menu plan is already simpler, just because I have decided to make my days have themes to them. By doing this, it takes away a bit of the stress. I can just know that it's Wednesday night, therefore, I will be making something with Tomatoes in it. Whether that be with an Italian flair (pizza, pasta, etc) or even Rice with stewed tomatoes and chickpeas. And Friday night is soup night, and so on and so forth. Lunches and breakfasts are also thematic. Tuesday mornings are smoothies and bread of some sort, Wednesday is hot cereal, Friday is pancakes or waffles, etc... and Lunches- there's Mexican day and pasta day, leftover day, etc... This has helped me so much when I go to sit down to write a menu. It makes my planning less intense and I know that the week will be fairly well rounded when it comes to food nutrition intake because I have consciously written out the themes so that there is balance and rounding out of different food groups.
With warmer weather winding our way, thoughts will be shifting from heavy comfort foods like potpies and meatloafs, and on to things like fruit salads, BBQ's, potato salad and pasta salad, veggie trays, hummus dips and light and refreshing things rather than the denser foods of winter.
Also, why not make up a picnic basket? Include plates, utensils, napkins, tablecloth, salt shaker, and then pin a list of fun and easy picnic foods to the basket and try to have some of those simpler ingredients on hand so that you can have picnics often this spring and summer!
My Menu Plan for this week goes as follows:
Omelets and canned peaches
Leftovers (happened to be burritos)
Teriyaki stirfry with tofu and salad
Smoothies and toast
Rainbow noodles, corn and stuffed eggs
Oatburgers and Salad
rice with tomato and chickpeas
Biscuits and Gravy, applesauce
Fruit and popcorn
Mashed Potatoes, Green beans and "Chick'n" steaks w/gravy
Potato Soup and Cornbread
Tortilini w/ Alfredo, peas and salad
As you can see, the menu does not have to be fancy. In my case, it CAN'T be fancy! I don't have time for it to be!
I also try to have on hand easy protein snacks for my munchkins. Things like raw nuts, hummus, sandwhich spreads/fillings, peanut butter crackers, energy protein balls/bars (homemade) and things like that. With all the running around, it's easy for the little ones to crash into hunger zone fast.
By implementing meal planning organization, we can free up our days from wondering what on earth to have at mealtimes to eat and focus more on enjoying our families!