Homeschooling has a way of tripling the amount of meals needed to prepare in a home. Having 3 growing boys and 1 princess also increases the amount of food! Meal planning becomes a necessity to surviving the homeschool day.
This is how I solved the meal planning problems in my home.
Meal Planning Format:
- Each child is assigned either breakfast, lunch or dinner.
- They are then responsible to plan, cook and clean that mealtime.
- About every year, I rotate the kids around to a new meal slot.
- Yes, it does help that I have a house full of teens to actually cook.
Now meal planning has been my nemesis, the kids really struggle with coming up with ideas.
Meal Planning Cookbook:
- 3-ring binder
- Google images
After gathering my supplies, I first decided on a theme for each day of the week. For example: Monday breakfast would be something with syrup, and lunch would be something with hamburger. Once I had the themes I gathered about 4 or 5 recipes that would match each theme.
On the first page of the cookbook I typed up the scheduled lunch theme.
- Monday is something with hamburger
- Tuesday is salad something
- Wednesday is cold sandwiches
- Thursday is hot sandwiches
- Friday is fun meals
On the first page of the cookbook I typed up the scheduled breakfast theme.
- Monday is something with syrup
- Tuesday is something with oatmeal
- Wednesday is something with eggs
- Thursday is something with cereal
- Friday is something with bagels
Then using card stock as dividers; I labeled the dividers with each theme and decorated with stickers. The recipes were placed in page protectors and little notes were added on how to make things either dairy free or gluten free to handle the food allergies in our family. Using Google for some chef images, I decorated the front cover of the cookbooks.
Now when it is time to plan meals, my kids look at the theme for that day and pick one of the recipes. Then they write a shopping list for ingredients that are needed for their meal plan.
I have another post on how this meal plan for kids works.