Getting meals on the table every day can be a tremendous challenge for parents. Between picking out recipes that everyone will enjoy, planning the grocery list, making weekly shopping excursions and cooking, it's amazing any of us has energy left to eat.
Below are several suggestions to help make your meal planning a little easier. As for getting your kids to eat their veggiesâ€¦well, that part's up to you.
Keep a list posted in the kitchen so everyone who's old enough to write can add to it when something runs low. If your budget allows it, purchase more than one item to avoid running out.
Grocery List Essentials:
Keep a list of items you frequently need and use such as milk, bread and lunchmeat. Refer to it when writing your weekly grocery list.
To save time and money, use the store's sale flyer to help you determine your weekly menu. Check your schedule to remind you when you have plans or won't have time to prepare a meal at home.
Write a list of your favorite quick and easy recipes to have on hand when planning meals.
Stock basics such as soup, rice and pasta as well as frozen entrees when you need to create a meal in a hurry. Also, don't forget that breakfast foods can be eaten at dinnertime.
Organize your recipes in a three-ring binder, or use any system that works for you. Separate them by type of dish (chicken recipes, appetizers, desserts, etc.) to make finding your favorites a breeze. Keep tried-and-true recipes separate from ones you haven't tried.
To help you keep track, post the week's meals on the fridge. If your kids are old enough, assign one night of the week they can help prepare the meal. Younger kids can do any number of simpler tasks, such as setting the table or cleaning lettuce.
Dr. Bettye M. Caldwell Ph.D. Professor of Pediatrics in Child Development and Education
Our parenting advice is given as suggestions only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider, and urge you to contact them immediately if your question is urgent or about a medical condition.