When it comes time for the family council on Sunday evenings, one of our agenda items is to go through our weekly meal plan. Most of the time I get eye rolls and a lot of “ummmms” and “I don’t knows”. Most weeks, I’d rather put the weekly meal plan together myself, but it goes much faster if I can recruit the family for help. Plus, they tend to eat the meals they choose when they have an input into the menu. If you know which recipes work the best for your family, you can put them together in a way that will make it fun and easy for your family to participate in meal planning. So, to make things easier and a lot more fun, I put together this fun meal planning box.
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Create a Recipe Collection to Make Meal Planning Easier
The first place you need to start is to collect a bunch of recipes that you know your family loves, will give them a variety, and will also expand their palate. I’m a firm believer in making sure my children experience a variety of foods.
When we don’t plan our meals, we end up eating something quick and easy which can sometimes lead to unhealthy choices. Like cold cereal. Although I’m not going to lie, there are plenty of times we’ve had to bust out the cold cereal because mama’s had a day.
Over the years, I have been able to collect some recipes for our family that, 1. I know they’ll eat, 2. is healthy, and 3. gives them a variety. These include my own recipes, a few select cookbooks, and a few blogs & websites that I trust will meet all of those criteria.
Our Favorite Cookbooks for Recipes
- Our Best Bites
- Favorite Family Recipes
- Magnolia Table
- Secret Recipes Worldwide Ward Cookbook
- Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook (The perfect cookbook for beginners. This book has EVERYTHING you need to get started cooking. It would be a great cookbook for someone just starting out on their own.)
- Our Family Cookbook made with our own Recipe Binder Downloads.
Our Favorite Food Websites & Blogs for Recipes
I have never been let down by any of these recipes that I have found through these cookbooks or websites.
Make Choosing Recipes For Your Meal Plan Quick, Easy, & Fun
When I was trying to come up with the best way to make choosing recipes for our meal plan easy, I was flooded with ideas for different crafts. You could really do anything that would make it easiest for your family. This is what I found and what I wanted to use for our family.
I found these cute little pixie boxes at Walmart by Super Stacker.
The blue recipes represent quick and easy meals and the black are ones I know are a bit more complicated.
I found a darling box to put them all in and voila! A lovely meal planning box that doesn’t take up a lot of space and is functional!
Now, all we have to do is take turns as a family and pick a recipe out of one of the boxes and fit them into our weekly meal planning template (see below). Easy peasy! No eye rolls, no “ummms” and “I don’t know”.
How Can You Make Meal Planning Easier For Your Family?
There are many different ways you can put together a meal planning kit so that you can make meal planning easier for your family. You can simply make envelopes with the different meal categories and write the recipes on slips of paper. You and your family can select the recipes from the envelopes and then fit them all into your meal planning template.
A meal planning template has a specific food category, like vegetarian, set up for each day. That way, you know exactly what type of recipe needs to be chosen for each day. I suggest having a meal planning template that rotates every 2 weeks. It makes it easy to just pick a recipe and know exactly where it would fit into the week. If it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t go into the meal plan for the week. Ours looks like this:
- Week 1) Monday- Sandwich, Tuesday- Chicken, Wednesday-Vegetarian, Thursday- Pasta, Friday- Meat, Saturday- Slow Cooker, Sunday- Leftovers.
- Week 2) Monday- Vegetarian, Tuesday- Pasta, Wednesday- Meat, Thursday-Slow Cooker, Friday- Out/Pizza, Saturday- Soup/Chicken, Sunday- Leftovers/Breakfast for dinner.
For your own meal planning template, click on the button below!
Fill out the template that fits your family and start getting your meals planned in a more efficient and simplified way! What do you do to make meal planning easier? Let me know in the comments below!