One of my key tasks for January was to complete the family menu plans for the next couple of months. The obvious reason for this is the impending arrival of our fifth child. (As this post is being written in advance, by the time it is published I will be officially over my due date or baby will be born!)
I find that once I sit down to do our family menu planning it is very easy to get into the swing of things and work through a number of weeks. I have a little process that I follow when I am doing a bulk monthly menu planning session.
My Menu Plan Planning Process for a Month.
1. Criteria for the month.
This month I had the following criteria:
- Healthy but simple food, that means I don’t have to spend too much time in a hot kitchen.
- Easy meals, that others can cook! My mum will be staying with us when the baby is born and she is always fabulous about helping me out in the kitchen.
- Plan one meal a weekend that Mr I can cook.
- One night where I don’t have to cook (left overs).
2. Decide on a daily theme.
For this monthly menu planning session I chose:
- Mon: Pasta
- Tue: Meat and Veg
- Wed: Meal with rice
- Thu: Big dish, to cover two nights
- Fri: Left Overs
- Sat: Wrap style meal
- Sun: Meat and Salad
3. Children’s and Husband’s Input
My children are very used to me menu planning, so when I do a bulk session like this I will ask them to give me at least four meals that they would like. I then slot in them into the relevant days theme and I have less to think about! Mr I is very easy going about what he eats, but I do put the pressure on him occassionally to come up with a few meals that the family should include into the menu plan.
4. Use the Free Menu Planner!
I then use the free menu planner to collate the weekly menu plans and shopping lists. Normally I would save them to my laptop and print them out as required, however as we have the unknown factor of when the baby will be born, I have printed them all out, dated them and hung them on a clip on the fridge. (See photo above!)
As the last remaining weeks of the school holidays zoom by, it gives me peace of mind that I have sorted one component of family life for the next month plus!
What does your menu planning process look like?
My Menu Plan for this week.
Now here is the weekly family menu plan which I have created from the The Planning With Kids Free Menu Planner:
Monday: Chicken Lasagne
Tuesday: Roast Chicken And Vegetables
Wednesday: Morrocon Minted Beef
Thursday: Family Meat Pie
Friday: Left Overs
Also if you would like to have one of your recipes added to the menu planner database, just be one of the first two people to leave a link or actual recipe in the comments section below. I will add it to the database and then email to let you know it has been included.
For more menu planning ideas head on over to Laura’s place at “I’m an Organizing Junkie“.