family menu planning ideas

Menu planning ideas and lunch box recipes for March 2021

menu planning ideas

This is my first monthly menu planning ideas post for 2021. COVID-19 changed lots of things for us in 2020 and as I wrote about back in March last year, when you are in lockdown, having variety in food is one of the highlights!

For the rest of last year, I went back to weekly menu planning. This allowed me to work with what items were available when we were experiencing shortages at the supermarkets and to work with what seemed to be going down well with the kids.

family monthly menu planning

Now that weekly life has returned to relative normal with all the associated training sessions, sports activities and after school activities, the kids have been requested their favourites again more regularly. I also need to be able to have the right type of meal on certain nights so dinner time can be done in sittings as kids come in and out.

This works easily into monthly menu planning, so I have kicked it off again for the month of March. You can see the process I use to incorporate our activities into the menu planning process in this menu planning post. It also has a free template you can download, like the one I have used above!

March Seasonal Fruit And Vegetables

seasonal veggies for march

It is always great to have a look at what fruit and veggies are in season and think about this when you are menu planning. Lots of my meals are pretty versatile – curries, meat and veg etc so I can choose veggies that are going to be in season. Not only will this mean they will taste better, but it is generally cheaper to buy in season too!

Fruits:
apples – aba, cox’s orange pippins – gala – jonagold – jonathan – mutso, banana, berries – raspberry – strawberry, breadfruit, feijoa, figs, grapes – cardinal – currant – muscat – purple cornichon – sultana – waltham cross, guava, kiwifruit, lemon, limes, mango, mangosteen, melons – honeydew – rockmelon, nashi, nectarine, nuts – almond – chestnut – hazelnut – pistachio – walnut, orange – valencia, papaya, passionfruit, peach, pears – beurre bosc – howell – josephine – packham – red sensation – williams, persimmon, plums, pomegranate, rambutan, rhubarb, tamarillo.

Vegetables:
asian greens – bok choy – choy sum – gai laan – wonga bok, avocados – fuerte – shepard, beans – borlotti – butter – green – snake, capsicum, celery, chilli, cucumber, daikon, eggplant, leek, lettuce, okra, olive, onions – brown – red – spring, peas, potato, pumpkin, shallot, silverbeet, spinach, squash, sweetcorn, sweet potato, tomato, zucchini.

You can see a full list of seasonal fruit and veg here.

Weekly food prep ideas

To make my weekdays easier for many years I have spent time in the kitchen on the weekends prepping and cooking food for the week. During the school term I share photos and links of the recipes I cook up during my weekly food prep sessions on Facebook using the hashtag #pwkweeklyprep which you can see here.

I know spending time in the kitchen isn’t everyone’s idea of good time, but I actually like spending the time in the kitchen, so don’t find it too much of chore.

Even if you don’t want to do the extensive type of food prep I do, it is so beneficial to at least make a couple of things to make your life easier during the week. If you would like to get into the meal prep thing, but do not quite know where to start, check out my short e-course Meal Prep Primer.

Meal Prep Primer teaches you my process and gives you three weeks of plans to follow to help you establish the habit. It has helped 100s of women make their week days easier by doing some meal prep on the weekend.

Below I have included a few ideas that you could make in a weekend. As a base I encourage parents to make one savoury or main lunch box item and a sweet treat or snack item for the kids’ lunch boxes. This really takes the pressure of making the lunches during the week.

Easy chocolate slice – a pretty old school recipe that will be a hit with the kids. Again you might like to double the ingredients if you have a few kids 🙂 .

Easy BLT Recipe

BLTs – I make a few ahead and then will prep extra ingredients (cook bacon, shred lettuce etc) and then make them up the night before they are needed.

Choc banana muffins (gluten, dairy and nut free)

Choc banana muffins (gluten, dairy and nut free)

Homemade chicken spring rolls

Homemade chicken spring rolls

No bake oat and choc chip balls

Taco parcels

White Choc Chip Cookies

White chocolate chip and raspberry cookies – with a touch of raspberries, these cookies are delicious and easy to make. I do recommend making a double batch if you have a few kids though – they don’t last long!

chicken and veggie patties gluten free

Chicken and veggie patties (gluten free)

Menu planning ideas for March

menu planning ideas Week 1



Day

Week Commencing 1st Mar 2021

Monslow cooker butter chicken

green veggie recipe title
Slow cooker butter chicken

Green veggies
TueDukkah crusted salmonDukkah crusted salmon with crunchy potatoes and garlic spinach
WedPhil plans the meal, buys the ingredients and cooks!
Thuzucchini bolognese mainZucchini and Spaghetti Bolognese
FriEasy Homemade Pizza SlicesHomemade pizzas
Sathomemade pasties.jpgHomemade pasties
Sunchicken-schnitzel-recipe-500Phil cooks - Chicken schnitzel and vegetables
menu planning ideas Week 2



Day

Week Commencing 8th Mar 2021

MonYellow chicken curry and beef massaman with rice and veggies
Tuelamb chops and vegetablesLamb chops and vegetables
WedPhil plans the meal, buys the ingredients and cooks!
Thusimple-pasta-with-chicken-and-spinachPasta with chicken and baby spinach
Frimenu planning ideas Week 3



Day

Week Commencing 15th Mar 2021

MonSONY DSC

green veggie recipe title
Slow cooker chicken satay (gluten free)

Green veggies
TueCrispy mashed potato moundsSausages, veg and crispy mashed potato mounds
WedPhil plans the meal, buys the ingredients and cooks!
Thuzucchini bolognese mainZucchini and Spaghetti Bolognese
FriServing ManyChicken Wings, Baked Potatoes and Corn
Satsweet chilli chicken wrapsSweet chilli chicken wraps
Sunchicken-schnitzel-recipe-500Phil cooks - Chicken schnitzel and vegetables
menu planning ideas Week 4



Day

Week Commencing 22nd Mar 2021

MonYellow chicken curry and beef massaman with rice and veggies
TueDukkah crusted salmonDukkah crusted salmon with crunchy potatoes and garlic spinach
WedPhil plans the meal, buys the ingredients and cooks!
ThuJapanese inspired beef mince recipeJapanese beef with veggies and rice
FriHomemade Hamburger Recipe With Homemade Chunky ChipsHome made hamburgers and salad
Sat2013 paleo homemade taco seasoningHomemade Tacos
SunChicken LasagnePhil - Chicken lasagne

Are you menu planning at the moment? If so for what time period?