Meal planning is a necessary evil in my house. I dread it every week. Last week I discovered two amazing tools to help me make this task so much easier.
First I purchased 100 Days of Real Food‘s 6 week real food lunch plans. This guide is amazing! Five lunches for 6 weeks that I can pack for my boys (I have to pack a lunch every day for summer daycare). The guide makes your shopping list and gives you a step by step guide on what to prep and when. The bonus? One of my goals this year is to go 100% whole foods by the end of the year. Most of the time at least. I’ve explained to my boys that their lunches are going to be different, but I promise there will always be food they like in their lunches. But I want them to try everything. They were pretty excited about this weeks’ menu! Here is Monday’s lunch. B ate it all gone! C was with me all day for our annual mommy & son birthday celebration day, so he didn’t get this lunch. We are almost through the first week and the boys have done pretty well. They have tried foods they know they didn’t like, and that’s all I ask at this point. And the daycare teachers confessed that they love my kids lunches and always check out what the boys bring. Proud mama moment here!
When I downloaded the meal plans I got a free trail to the website Plan to Eat*. Guys, this is the Cadilac of meal planning! I can have my recipes, shopping list, and meal plan all in one happy place. And I can drag and drop recipes onto my meal plan, and it will automatically add all the ingredients to my shopping list. Shop at different stores? No problem, you can make a list for each of them. Need to add more? Simple click of a button. Favorite recipe on a website pinned on your Pinterest board? There’s a button for that! You can print the meal plan, or add it to a digital calendar. Click here to see my meal plan this week. I’m on a free trial right now, but I can guarantee I will pay for the service when the trial is over! The only drawback is, there isn’t a mobile app, but there is a mobile friendly website, which makes it easy to take the list to the store and cross items off as you put them in your cart.
I’m already planning next week’s menu, a chore I usually leave for Saturday morning!
This review of the Real Food Lunch Plans and Plan to Eat were written by me. I was not asked to write these reviews by 100 Days of Real food or Plan to Eat. I have not been compensated for this review.
Ah – the dreaded meal planning again! Why dreaded? It is all self-imposed. I’m not a person that likes to eat the same thing week after week, so I’m always looking for new menu items to add to the list. I also have some semi-picky children that add to the fun. To top it off – I don’t really enjoy cooking, so it has to be tasty and easy.
So, what’s on the menu for this week – nothing new that’s for sure…
- Sunday – End of baseball grill out with the team. Hotdogs, chips, etc. I will eat a salad before we go
- Monday – Chicken stir fry. Not the boys favorite, but we keep feeding it to them. They get some veggies and protein, so it works
- Tuesday – Taco Tuesday of course
- Wednesday – Spaghetti & Turkey Meatballs – I will use zucchini noodles
- Thursday – Mac & Cheese for the boys, Cauliflower fried rice for me
- Friday – Cheeseburger Roll-ups
Last week I made the most amazing salad that I will make over and over again until I get tired of it. It is better than most restaurant salads, I swear! It is called BLT Chopped Salad and OMG it is amazing. So full of flavor and it kept me full for hours! And so satisfying, I wasn’t even craving anything sweet after I was done, which is the norm for me!
Every weekend we attempt to make a weekly menu before we go grocery shopping. This started years ago when we didn’t have much money and needed to buy only what we needed instead of wandering down the isles and picking up whatever looks good that day. We don’t always follow the plan exactly, but we try. I don’t like to eat the same thing over and over again, so I’m always hunting Pinterest for meal ideas. My ultimate goal is to get my family over to almost completely whole food by the end of the year. This would probably be easier if I did some or all of my meal prep on the weekend…but I hate cooking, so spending hours doing this on a Saturday or Sunday sounds like pure torture to me.
This summer I have the added challenge of packing lunches every day for both boys and planning around baseball games and/or practices almost every night! So this week’s plan is:
- Monday – C baseball game at 5:30 – Homemade Lunchables. C will eat in the car on the way to the game; B will eat during the game
- Tuesday – B baseball practice at 6:15 – Tacos. Taco Tuesday is non-negotiable in our house thanks to The Lego Movie. If I pre-cook the meat this should be doable
- Wednesday – C baseball practice at 5:00 – BLTs when we get home. Again, should pre-cook the bacon to make it super easy Wednesday night
- Thursday – B baseball practice at 5:30; C baseball practice at 7; me meeting at 6 – Mac & Cheese and Hotdogs. B will eat after practice, C will eat before
- Friday – Spaghetti and meatballs
The boys’ summer program is nut free – so no PB&J for lunches. This is what C lived on last year so this has been an adjustment. This week I am planning:
- Pizza rolls
- Meat & Cheese skewers
- Ham & Cheese sandwiches
They always get a fruit and veggie in their lunch too.
Do you meal plan and/or food prep on the weekends?
This week has the special challenge of me planning a menu that I’m not going to be here to prepare. I will be traveling for work to LA Tuesday – Sunday (yay!!) so running it household is being left to my mom and my husband.
Monday – C Baseball game at 5:30 – Home made lunchables. C will eat on the way to the game. B and I will have a picnic at the game. My dad will be joining us and will be eating a Lunchable too 🙂
Tuesday – B baseball practice 5:30 – C batting practice at 7. Tacos between practices. Leftover taco meat from last week, makes this a quick and easy meal. And again – Taco Tuesday and all….
Wednesday – C baseball practice 7 – Mac & Cheese & Hotdogs
Thursday – B baseball practice at 5:30 – Grilled cheese & green beans after practice
Friday – NO ACTIVITIES!! – Spaghetti and meatballs and lettuce salad
Saturday and Sunday – Hubby is on his own. I’m sure he’ll come up with something. He is more of the cook of the family than I am!
I’ll be interested to see how the week goes with my hubby having to do drop off and pickup for 3 whole days. In almost 11 years of having children, he has never done both in one day. I’m a little nervous he is going to forget them.