Last weekend on the Planning With Kids facebook page I shared the following:
After doing no food prep last weekend I spent most of last week chasing my tail with food for me and the kids. I caught my tail by Thursday, but it did remind me exactly why I bother to do food prep on the week ends.
Some weekends I make a choice to spend my time elsewhere and skip the food prep. Of course we survive and the world doesn’t fall apart but it does make the week run less smoothly and make me feel like I am behind.
When you have been menu planning and food prepping for as long as I have, you can forget what it is like without the planning and prep. You forget the multiple trips to the shops for ingredients, you forget the dread when you open the pantry and/or fridge to realise there is very little to scrape up for the school lunches. And you forget the extra time it takes when you don’t batch these tasks.
Not preparing made me appreciate again the benefits of why I do take the time each weekend to make some food for the week ahead. As I have mentioned before there are weekends where I will choose to do the bare minimum, which for us is:
- one savoury item for the lunch boxes
- one sweet item for the lunch boxes
Everything else I do is optional. I do always try to make something for my lunches too. The better prepared I am with my food, the better I will eat. The better I eat, the better I am able to train. I am also a much happier and nicer person to be around when I am well fed!
Kiwi and lime muffins – this was a new recipe I made for some freelance work.
Almond and chilli dukkah – this makes everything taste a little bit more tasty! It goes amazingly well on smashed avocado and adds great texture to my chicken, rice and veggie meals.
Kombucha – I am obsessed with my latest flavouring combo that I copied from Mojo Kombucha- greens with a couple of drops of essential peppermint oil – I love the Twenty8 Essentials brand. I use this base kombucha recipe from Real Food Agenda and then make up my own flavour combinations.
Making your own kombucha isn’t hard and it is so much cheaper than buying store bought kombucha. I know many people worry about “getting it wrong”, but this is something people have been making for a very long time and with kombucha the smell will tell you a lot about whether it is okay to drink or not. There is a great FAQ on the Cultures for Health website that will give you lots of info as well.
Muesli for the kids – this is a recipe I created for Essential Kids. The kids love it and will often have it as an afternoon tea snack if they haven’t had it for breakfast in the morning.
Pre-prepped meals for me – I wrote last week about how I have changed my weekly food prep for my food while doing a food challenge at my gym, which you can read here. Most weeks it is a variation on these type of meals:
Weekly prep ideas
It is not too late to undertake some food prep for the week ahead. I always recommend starting small when starting with food prep and using a weekend evening meal to cater for food for the kids lunches. You could try:
Sweet chilli chicken wraps – make a double batch, some for dinner and some for kids to take in wraps for their lunches.
Quinoa snack balls – double the quantities to make sure it will last you the week. These keep well in the freezer, so stay fresh.
On some Sunday nights we will have a more relaxed style meal where the kids can choose what they want from a couple of selections like pumpkin soup and fried rice. Most of the kids are then happy to take either of these dishes in a thermos to school. You can see the type of thermos we use in this post – lunch box storage ideas and containers.
Gluten free buckwheat choc chip cookies – the kids won’t even taste that you used buckwheat flour!
Gluten free hamburgers – my kids love hamburgers, so will happily have them for dinner, then cold in their lunch box, either on their own or in a roll with salad.
Lemon and coconut muffins – this is a super easy recipe and it makes 15 muffins.
Our weekly menu plans for August/September
These are our menu plans week by week for the next month with shopping lists included created in the PWK menu planning app.
A great time saving tip for monthly menu planning is to recycle menu plans from other months to make a completely new menu plan for the month, for example each of these weekly menu plans I have used before, one is from May, one from June, one from earlier in Aug etc.
Combined they give me a new monthly menu plan with variety but as they are from the winter months already, they fit our winter after school schedule and they already have the kids favourite meals included. It took me less than 10 minutes to choose them and now I am set for the month!
Even if you don’t use an app to plan out your meals, you can easily just keep your hand written plans and recycle them that way.
Week Commencing 22nd Aug 2016
|Mon||Slow cooker roast lamb|
|Wed||Slow cooker chicken satay (gluten free)
|Thu||Moroccan minted beef|
|Fri||Home made hamburgers and salad|
|Sat||Sweet chilli chicken wraps|
|Sun||Chicken wings, baked potatoes and steamed corn|
|Shopping List||Weekly menu plan shopping list 160822|
Week Commencing 29th Aug 2016
|Tue||Slow cooker butter chicken
|Wed||Dukkah crusted salmon with crunchy potatoes and garlic spinach|
|Thu||Slow cooker beef stroganoff (gluten free)
|Fri||Weekly menu plan shopping list 160829|
Week Commencing 5th Sept 2016
|Mon||Chicken, cashew and ginger stir fry|
|Tue||Slow cooker beef stroganoff (gluten free)|
|Wed||Sausages, veg and crispy mashed potato mounds|
|Thu||Zucchini and Spaghetti Bolognese|
|Sat||Sang choy bow|
|Sun||Home made hamburgers and salad|
|Shopping List||Weekly menu plan shopping list 160905|
More family friendly recipes
If you are looking for further recipe inspiration, check out my complete list of Family Friendly Recipes.