I had quite a surprise this weekend. It was Saturday evening and I still had to do my meal planning for the week. This time of year gets even busier for us with baseball and softball starting and all of the end of the school year activities. I can’t afford to fly by the seat of my pants. I thought it would be fun if my daughter helped me plan her lunches. I asked her about helping and to my surprise she was really excited to help. In fact, she kind of took over.
I had written in all of the activities on my planning calendar as I always do first. She questioned why there wasn’t anything on Friday since there was multiple activities on each of the other days………..including the weekend. Whew! We have Friday night off. Don’t worry, there is still time. By the time we get to Friday that will be full too. As she was looking at the calendar, she put it in her lap and grabbed the pen from me. I then explained to her that she could look at the lunch section of my recipe binder for some ideas. She did just that and very quickly filled in the lunches for the week.
Lil M then asked me if she could keep going. “Sure!” I said. She wanted to plan breakfast. She said that if she planned some variety then Daddy couldn’t just give them cereal everyday because “that really isn’t too healthy Mommy.” You could have knocked me over with a feather. She DOES listen to what I say. She decided that a pattern would make life easier. She picked whole wheat mini bagel, egg, cereal, egg, bagel. Patterns are so 2nd grade………….and such a great idea because they really do simplify things in the morning.
Next came dinner……………..She flipped to the front of my recipe binder and found where the dinner tab was and then flipped to it. She quickly filled in all of the dinners. Full disclosure…………the girl likes pasta and the menu is full of it this week. Probably, more than I would plan to eat in a typical week, but I was so proud of her that I decided to keep the menu just as she planned it. We did have to rearrange just a little bit. She clearly understands that leftovers make for great lunches. We just had to make sure that we made the meal for dinner and then the leftover lunch came next. Pretty hard to eat leftovers before you have made the meal. She gets it now.
What is usually a bit of a chore turned into really fun time with my daughter. She had the opportunity to utilize some of the skills she has gained at school and put them to use in a practical way at home. I was also able to teach her the pride of planning nutritious and delicious meals for our family. The look on her face is priceless as she eagerly eats the meal she plans. It is very normal for me to think that I have to do it all myself. My daughter taught me the joy of involving my family in the day-to-day chores. Hmm………..what else can they do?
Do you plan meals? What tips do you have that would help others? Do you have your kids help in the kitchen? Leave me a comment and let me know. I would love to hear from you. Our Juggling Community can all benefit from sharing information with each other. You can find more information on meal planning here and here.
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