Sunday, March 14, 2010


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You can scroll down towards the end for our menu plan this week.

I shared a little bit how I normally meal plan earlier. However, I was reading on another blog about how she meal plans and it got my brain stirring up ideas and motivated to do something a little different, a little change for a little while. I don't know how long this will last, but I am hoping that for sometime it will be inspiring for my family and a learning experience for my children.

My idea (not sure if it is really mine) is to get the kids more involved with the meal planning. I want them to experience how to meal plan: going through the process of picking out delicious healthy meals, planning out balanced meals, grocery shopping and how to save money, as well as prepare the meal!

Of course this takes a little patience and time, but I feel like it is worth the learning experience for my girls to becoming future Godly wives of their homes.

This is what we did:

I pulled out cookbooks (with pictures for the little ones), my computer recipe archive, and we sat down as a family and shared with each other meals that we like or would like to try. We wrote down at least 30 meal ideas. Part of planning a meal was making sure that it was balanced. We talked about balanced meals and flavors that would go together.
Notice the TV screen? I thought that was pretty ironic!

PREP PART TWO: I created a family cookbook that included pictures and the recipe of all the meal ideas we wrote down. I used a word processor to write out the recipes and attach a picture to each one.

NoteCard Method: You could also write recipe cards with each meal assigned a card. One one side of the card, possibly attach a picture for the little kids. (I am thinking about using menu cards with each dish and side dishes listed as well in the process)


  • With our cookbook in front of us, I let each child choose one dish they would like to prepare that week. We also check out our pantry and freezer to see if there are ingredients that we could use first. For example, we have Mahi Mahi in the freezer, so we look for a dish that uses the Mahi Mahi fish.
  • We assign each child a day of the week to place their dish to make -- as well as side dishes to go along with our main dish.
  • Each child will help out preparing and cooking the meal they have chose on the day it is assigned. At this point, I only allow one meal per child in the kitchen a week. They can help me choose the dishes for the rest of the remaining days of the week and I may throw in a "new" recipe one day a week too, but they are to help me in the kitchen only one day a week.

If using the card method: With each recipe card laid out on the floor, each child chooses which meals we will prepare this week.

  • We come up with our weekly menu plan and write it out on our menu calendar!

I found these great menu planning pads that have a magnet attached onto the back
for easy placing on the fridge! I found them for 50 cents each at Michaels.
There are 52 pages in each. I stocked up on this cute find!

If using the card method: keep the recipe cards attached with a paper clip. This goes up on the fridge!

  • Next, we go over each recipe and write the ingredients on a grocery list. We then check our pantries (pantry, fridge, freezer) to see what ingredients we might already have and then cross that ingredient off our list.

NOTE: I am thinking about creating a weekly clear pocket calendar where we can put each recipe card (picture shown) up on the fridge and it would be a visual to see what we are eating on that day. Just a little creative way to display our meals.

If the girls are with me on grocery shopping day, then I will have them be involved. I let one hold the grocery list and then when we find an ingredient, they help me find the best price, organic if possible, and then put it in the cart.

On their assigned day (the meal they chose), they help me prepare it and cook it. They like to wear their aprons and chef hats and use their own tools (small knife, whisk, spoons, cutting board)I also have them set the table for dinner as well.

Our Menu

MONDAY (Sophia's Choice)
Toffee French Toast

TUESDAY (Rosi helper)
Totchos (see recipe below)

Crockpot Lentil -Kale Soup (we have kale from our garden)
Drop Bisquits

Green Salad
Crusty Bread

FRIDAY (Lydia's Choice)
Fruit Salad

Ore-Ida Tater Tots®*
sprinkled liberally with Lawry's,
topped with:
  • refried beans
  • pre-grated "Mexi" cheese
  • sour cream
  • chopped cilantro
  • onion and scallions
  • sliced black olives
  • salsa
You could also add - black beans, chili, grilled chicken


  1. Kristie Smith6:27 AM

    I like the sound of the Tatcho-riffic! Sounds yummy! I think you are very brave to allow the girls in the kitchen. My boys drive me crazy in the kitchen! I just don't have the patience for that! But I hate to cook so I think that makes a huge difference. I cook so we can live you cook as an act of love! That is a gift I didn't pick up!!

  2. What a wonderful way to teach your daughters to meal plan! It also seems like a really good way to get some special time with each of your daughters. Have a blessed week!

  3. I applaud you for teaching your girls how to cook and shop at their ages. I can't have my boy in the kitchen with me when I cook (He's a train wreck waiting to happen), but I do take him shopping with me and try to show him how to go off a list and use coupons. He's only 5 but I think he is getting it, he likes to carry around his own little coupon folder :)

  4. Thank you for posting a comment on my blog the other day. Wow, your recipe book is very impressive. That is exactly what I would like to do someday! How long did it take you to create the book?


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