Someone asked me the other day how I find the inspiration to cook every night, with four young kids running around the house.
The answer is simple: I use a meal plan.
When you are cooking for a family and trying to run a company, the importance of meal planning cannot be stressed enough.
Using a weekly meal plan will:
1. Take the stress out of worrying what to cook each night
2. Provide a healthy variety of food for your family
3. Save you money
It need not be complicated either. In fact, the simpler you can keep it, the better!.
Here are my top tips for creating a meal plan that works for your family:
1. If you don’t already own some, buy a variety of recipe books that contain foods you like.
Scan eBay for second hand ones and look especially for ones that contain quick and easy recipes. My particular favourites are Jamie Olivier’s 30 Minute Meals, anything by Rachael Allen, Darina Allen or Lorraine Pasqual.
2. Sit down each Saturday or Sunday and choose which recipes you are going to cook for the week
When you buy specific ingredients for each meal, and plan what to eat with what, you spend much less money as very little is wasted. Write the recipes on your wall calendar or in your online calendar. It is especially good for older kids to see what they are eating each night. Encourage them to make suggestions for the forthcoming week.
3. Schedule time into each day to cook for the evening.
Look at your calendar for the week and time chunk a slot to cook every day. For me, this time is usually between 1-2pm when my kids come home from school and I am in the kitchen preparing lunch anyway. It breaks up the day and the kids get to help peel and chop.