Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Menus, Schmenus

My family eats. Three times a day. Often more. They like food. Real food, snack food, junk food, healthy food. Sweets, salty, crunchy, smooth. They simply enjoy eating.

I have struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. I am rarely satisfied with my reflection and often wrestle with food. How much? What time? Any at all?

However, that is not healthy. It does nothing for my muscles, my bones, my brain. I want all of these things to be strong. More than that, I want my children to grow up with an appreciation of what food can do for their bodies. For a working knowledge of healthy food choices and what is nutritious.

Amidst all these thoughts of food is the reality that is three meals a day. Dinner each night. I have begun using a system that has worked well for us the past several months. It takes a chunk of planning time each two weeks, but seriously pays off daily.

I take about an hour every two weeks to plan our dinner menu for the following two weeks. I take two cookbooks to my computer and pull up a form I developed to use. I fill in items I already know about the weeks ahead: supper club, church night, etc. Then I flip thru the cook books and pick recipes I want to cook. I usually find a crock pot recipe for Sunday nights and something quick for Wednesday nights. I don’t plan for every night because inevitably Nonnie will call and we’ll go out at least once.

I make a note of which book and page each recipe is on. I begin a new document and make a shopping list. The initial time investment is a bit bigger but I love just looking at the calendar on the fridge to know what we are eating. When there is a change I write what we did eat and move the planned meal to another day.

I am trying to incorporate fish more often and foods we might not usually try. I have been blessed by kiddos that will try most anything and I love that! I want to keep their palate broad and their interest bright!

I only use two cookbooks so I am not overwhelmed with choices. I try to look and see what we already have so as not to waste food. Mr. Brick, #1,2 & 3 enjoy the predictability that they will get dinner each night and I love not stressing at 5:15p with details that my tired brain can’t handle!

Now, what do I do with spouse-less socks?

Happy Tuesday~


erin said...

i NEED to do the same. i try it, but usually don't stick to it. and i KNOW my life would be so much easier if i did it.

maybe i can follow your lead on this too. :)

Sarah L. Knapp said...

As for the socks, look inside other socks- Angela came running in the bathroom this morning shouting that her striped sock that had been missing for months was in her flowered sock! What a miracle;-)

Shannon said...

Although my menu planning is a bit different than yours- I have done it for years and can't imagine how I'd get dinner on the table each night without it. A little planning goes a LONG way. When I walk in the door in the late afternoon my brain is fried and without a plan we'd be eating cereal or take-out. (Blecht!) I'm so crazy that I even usually set the table and have everything out I'll need to cook dinner (a pot, a pan, a can of veggies, etc) in the morning before I leave for work. That way I don't have to think and can just start cooking when I walk in the door!

Becky said...

We're much better off over here when I plan ahead too! Have gotten lax about it but, have to get back at it! It does make life easier and.....helps me stick to our weekly budget for food!

Great job Intrigue!! Your doing a so well in these areas of your life in which you have set mighty goals!

Lindsay said...

I do this too. I love it. I even plan out side dishes and breakfast. It makes grocery shopping a breeze and takes all the stress out of meal times.

{{shan}} said...

I work from a menu, too, most of the time. It makes for one less thing to think about - and when you start with the evening activities, it sure helps a bunch!! Now for the socks... I keep a basket on my washing machine for those socks... eventually some of them find mates. And those that don't? Well, I write "CLEANING" on the bottom and throw them in my rag box. They are GREAT for little people to put on their hands - then you spray on a little Pledge - and let them loose on your baseboards and dusty shelves. It's so fun!!

(on a totally unrelated note, my word verification word here is CRIAPOUT. what's up with that?)

MiChal said...

You're such a good example (in MANY ways)! I need to do this too.

Emily said...

I "try" to do this, but mostly in my head not as planned out. Way to go you!