Ok, I had to put fun in the title or you may not read the article!!!! Actually, meal planning can be fun when you include your family in the process! We generally have family meetings in which meal planning is on the agenda. It is helpful to know what the family loves and feels like eating. Truthfully, I am not an avid meal planner. I try to account for 2-3 meat dishes for a week which I can creatively work into 4-5 dishes as needed. Then I try to add at least one vegie and a salad to go along with that. We rarely eat bread except for at breakfast so that leaves rice, pasta, or whatever other form of starch your family may like. If I am being really organized, I sit down with Pandora and a glass of wine or cup of tea and write out a monthly plan using the Saving Dinners cookbook as my guide.
Our children also “get” to help with the meal preparation of their choice (even more fun, really!). Typically, I have my boys help with one part of a meal once or twice a week. This can include peeling and chopping carrots, washing the leaves for a salad and choosing what goes in the salad (fruit theme or vegie themed salad). They can also help with making a quick dressing. Of course, they never resist helping with the dessert. Dessert can be the highlight of the meal and does not have to be fancy or time consuming – and should be made at home whenever possible. Fruit in a pretty cup with whip cream and chocolate sprinkles is delightful! Cheers!