Guide to planning a simple menu that the whole family will love

Mother preparing a meal

There are two ways to avoid having to think up what to have for lunch or dinner every day. One is eating out daily and the other, taking the time to plan your menu for the month. Honestly, life is already tedious enough that we all need to incorporate those little things that make our lives easier. Here is a simple guide to planning a simple menu that the whole family will love!

Consult The Stakeholders. 

You will need to consult with members of your family and be sure everyone has their favorite dish on the menu. This will reduce the amounts of complaints from your children especially if they are picky eaters. Note that asking their opinion doesn’t mean you should throw sound judgment out of the window, so, even if your 3 years old loves fried plantain for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you won’t let him have his way.

Get Real! 

Be realistic with your meal planning. While you may love palm oil soup, preparing it on a Monday may just not be convenient. It may, therefore, be preferable to prepare on a weekend. Unless you have a cook, try and save the complicated and time-consuming recipes for weekends and public holidays.

Be Healthy. 

Aim to make each meal in your menu a balanced diet by also including plenty of vegetables and fruits. For example, ensure that every lunch meal is accompanied by seasonal fruits and try to avoid repeating similar meals on the same day.

Detailed Plan! 

Include every meal into your menu plans, such as breakfasts, school lunches, and dinner, also taking into account snack times or in-between meals. For a healthier menu, do more fruit snacks, rather than pastries and sweets.

Have Themed Nights. 

For instance, every Friday night could be tagged ‘Pasta Night.’ So you get to try different types of pasta, like ravioli, macaroni, and cheese, lasagna (with minced beef or minced chicken). Another example would be ‘Potato Night’ with a different variety each week such as baked potatoes with gravy, boiled potatoes with egg sauce, potato casserole, fries with fish or chicken, or boiled sweet potatoes. The options with each food type are almost endless!

Variety Is The Spice Of Life. 

Do the occasional surprise by ordering a pizza, making a foreign dish or allowing the kids order a take out. Visit food blogs, watch food shows and refer to cookery books for easy and interesting recipes to make.

Relive Your Childhood. 

You might be shocked to find out that your children enjoy your childhood favorite foods. So include childhood favorites into your menu, even if it’s an updated version.

Write It Down And Display. 

Write it out and display where everyone can see, usually in the fridge. That way each member of the family knows what to expect, and you will avoid dealing with questions like, “Mummy, what are we having for breakfast?”

Have a Second Menu Plan. 

Having a second menu plan increases your variety and provides more options and an opportunity to alternate your menus. While Menu A caters for the current week, Menu B does for the following week.

Plan Your Shopping. 

This is the final and most important aspect of a successful home menu plan. There is no point in having meals planned without stocking up on ingredients. Get the needed ingredients and store them appropriately. Also, if you know you are preparing a meal that needs fresh ingredients, make sure you schedule them to be purchased close to the cooking day.
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