Friday, February 25, 2011

Menu Planning: Part 1

I started working on March's menu plan this morning.  I printed my list of superfoods from last week in an attempt to try and incorporate them more fully this coming month.  I'm a little overwhelmed.  It is easy to get several of the foods in one or two meals, but to try and get the daily/weeky requirements in over the course of every week has proven a bit more challenging than I though it would be.  I've decided that even though we probably won't meet the goal every week, a good attempt is better than no attempt at all.

This month I'm also changing a few things in regard to how I do my menu.  First, I'm writing all of our known obligations on the menu (under the date), so I don't forget that I need an easy meal on "x" day because I have a meeting at 6 pm and hubby has to get dinner for the kids.  Ya know, that kind of thing happened a lot last month.  It almost always resulted in picking up something processed from the store or hitting a drive-thru.

Second, I am planning full meals, both entrees and at least 2 sides for every meal.  Last month I just did the entree and figured I could come up with the rest as I needed it.  What happened was me standing in the kitchen with a ready to serve entree and I didn't have a clue what veggie or fruit was going with it.  I have four bags of veggies (5 pounds each) that haven't been opened becuase I forgot about using them.  Good news, this month, I won't be buying many frozen veggies!

Third, I am adding a morning snack to my menu.  I typically give the daycare kids something to munch on as I'm getting ready to prepare lunch (or tide them over if a little one decides he/she needs to eat NOW!).  I have been just grabbing whatever out of the cabinet and I've found that when I go to make a dish later in the month, I don't have enough of some ingredient, almonds in this case, because I've been using them for morning snack.  Same with boxed cereal.  I had used it a few times for morning snack for the kids and then my girls didn't have any cereal for breakfast this week because I had used it all.  Oops, sorry girls!

So far, I have the first two weeks done and I'm planning on putting them up on the menu plan page.  I'm hopeful that I can get the plan done tonight and then make my list in the morning.  I won't get to do my bulk grains shopping for a couple weeks, so that is throwing things off a bit too.  I think I'll just go ahead and buy another 5 pound bag of flour and be done with it.

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