My good friend has inspired me to get back to meal planning. Amen for great friends! She and I walk our dogs together and the entire time we are strolling the neighborhood I am salivating over the details of her planned meals. She is a super busy mom of three, with a full time job, and a husband who has crazy hours. I get her ;)
Lately the Taylors have been living on quick fix meals, not that there's anything wrong with that, especially when the kids fix their own dinner... BUT, the lack of a plan was keeping us in a stale rotation of all the same "meh" meals. Tacos, Spaghetti, pizza for dinner.
I used to love to cook! Like really love it. I worked for Stonewall Kitchen, a gourmet food company, for years. I watched all the cooking shows, subscribed to Bon Apetit, and Food & Wine Magazines for crying out loud! I loved trying new foods, new restaurants, and having dinner parties.
But then my life changed. I had kids.
Despite my best efforts at getting my boys to eat more adventurously, my kids became typical fussy eaters – and I lost my motivation to try new recipes. I take full blame for the the pizza monster I've created at our house. But, it's time to take control and make some healthy changes!
So I asked my girlfriend to tell my why meal planning is important to her in the hopes I would be motivated. Here were her thoughtful answers:
1. It saves me from the daily stress of answering the question, what’s for dinner?
2. We sit down as a family for dinner much more often when I meal plan.
3. It saves money.
4. We try lots of new recipes.
6. We often decide on our meals as a family- with everyone picking one dinner for the week- so everyone is more excited for our weekly menu.
6. Probably most importantly- it has brought back the joy of cooking for me. I look forward to making dinner most nights, and hanging out with the kids while I cook is a highlight of my day 💙
How’s that for inspiring!?
I took her advice and started meal planning again at our house.
I pulled out my favorite cookbooks, and even treated myself to a new one, The Clean Plate by Gwenyth Paltrow. After flipping through and noting some recipes I wanted to try, I took out my weekly meal planner. This little tool makes the shopping list so much easier to write out... and then it's right there on the fridge for the entire family to see and know what to expect. No more "Mom what's for dinner??"
A shot of our actual fridge. "I not just the president, I'm also a client."
Love this cookbook! And having freshly pickled onions and cucumbers in my fridge at all times.
I'm on week two, so I can't get too excited, but it's been really great so far! We are eating better, feeling better, and I have less stress at the dinner hour.
I also noticed in our home what my girlfriend mentioned, that we sit down at the table more often when I make a homemade meal. It just feels more special. I wouldn't say it has sparked my inner chef back to life, but we are moving in a better direction for sure!
Another meal planning/family dinner win?
I was gifted a Turkey on the Table recently. I have to share with you how adorable this is. You receive the cutest turkey to display on your table for the month of November, and cardboard feathers for each member of the family to write down what they are grateful for each day leading up to Thanksgiving. Then on Thanksgiving day, read the words on the feathers together. My heart just melted. Plus is comes with a heartwarming story book.
An extra feel good bonus? Your purchase also provides 10 meals for people in need through our partnership with Feeding America! I love everything about Turkey on the Table, and am honored to help spread the word about it.
So happy planning, friends! Meaningful mealtimes are about to be served ;)
Bon Apetit! 🍴