Meal planning has been shown to help with all aspects of eating—there is less stress every evening deciding what to eat, less money spent on groceries by avoiding last-minute trips to the grocery store when hungry, and peace of mind knowing that you don’t have to think of what to cook for an entire week. Even with these perks, though, it can be daunting to decide what to make for an entire week. This is where our alliteration plan comes in! By having a set day every week that you make a category of food, it helps you think of recipes, therefore, reducing stress. An added plus to this is that your family (i.e., the picky eater children) know what to expect on each day, so there are no major surprises. The alliteration, however, is just for fun.
It is good for your heart, wallet, and the earth, to cut meat out of a few of your meals a week. There are so many different options for meatless meals, either by substituting vegetables for meat, such as portabella mushrooms, or by using a recipe that was created to be vegetarian, such as a vegetable-stuffed butternut squash.
Taco Tuesday is a way to say you will have some type of Mexican food on Tuesdays. There are so many delicious options to choose from: enchiladas, burritos, tacos, tostadas, and burrito bowls are only a few ideas to start with. Within each of these ideas, there are a million possibilities. Depending on the meat chosen (or vegetarian option) and toppings, you can easily have a completely different meal every Tuesday for an entire year
The wacky thing about Wednesday is that you try a new recipe every Wednesday. This is your day to get crazy and try something new. If you are an adventurous chef, this is your day to shine. Alternatively, you can use this day to allow your children to choose (and cook) your dinner.
Also known as leftover night, this is a crucial day to clear out your fridge and avoid wasting food. If you don’t have quite enough food left over to feed your entire family, you can also supplement with frozen vegetables or whatever your “go-to” meal is—such as chicken nuggets or mac and cheese.
You can use this day to make a fancy Pinterest- worthy gourmet flatbread, or you can do what most other families in America do: have pizza. Making a (somewhat) balanced homemade pizza is significantly easier than many people realize—roll-out pizza dough is cheap and easy, and you can add whatever toppings give you joy. Or, if you know you’re not going to have the energy to cook, you can plan to order out.
Soup and Salad Saturday:
This day depends on the weather; during warmer months, salads are a healthy and cool dinner option. To make them hearty enough to be filling, you can add protein and other toppings that will leave you satisfied. When it’s cold out, soup is the way to go; and if you don’t feel like stirring excessively over the stove, the crockpot is your best friend. If you really want to be fancy, you can even do a mix-and-match and have a salad course before your main soup course.
Sundays are our days of rest (and generally grocery shopping), so this is a simple day. Pasta is easy and very well received by adults and kids everywhere. You can stay traditional with spaghetti and meatballs, or mix it up with a homemade carbonara—or even go a little healthier with sautéed vegetables tossed with angel hair.