Every two weeks I ask my husband the same question:
I’m meal planning – any requests?
And I nearly always get the same answer:
Every now and then he throws in tacos too.
Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE couscous, lemon caper chicken and tacos. But there’s an innate responsibility to teach my kids variety so that their future spouses don’t tire of making the same three dishes over and over.
If you’re in the same boat, here are some tips to follow to help bring some balance between variety and family favorites:
- Do not plan two new meals consecutively. Put a family favorite between two new meals. This helps the less adventurous eaters to not become overstimulated.
- Try to plan a new meal the day after a simple meal. New meals tend to take a bit longer in the kitchen, so to relieve that stress, plan an easy meal the day before.
- Whenever possible, plan a new meal on an “at home” day. Similar to the last tip, plan a new meal for days you know you’ll have time to properly attend to it.
- Ask the family how the meal can be improved. Always give a meal a second chance. Let the family give input to help decide how it can be better.
Keeping some variety to your meal plan also allows you to eat a more varied diet. You need a lot of different nutrients that come from different vegetables, meats, and grains. Plus it makes your favorite meals more special when you don’t indulge every single week. (Even if they are super healthy!)
Spring Dinner Recipes: April 2013
A note about spring dinner recipes:
- This meal plan costs approximately $350. Prices will vary per region and family adaptation.
- The meals are planned around 1 beef roast, 2 whole chickens, and bacon.
Spring Dinner Recipes: Week 1
Spring Dinner Recipes: Week 2
(S) Spring Vegetable Pasta Salad
(M) Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas
(T) Pulled Beef BBQ Sandwiches on Ciabatta
(W) Easy Alfredo
(T) Kung Fu Panda Soup with Ciabatta
(F) Mexican Baked Potatoes
(S) Chicken Tacos with Salsa
Spring Dinner Recipes: Week 3
(S) One Pan Buffalo Chicken Potatoes
(M) Mediterranean Grilled Cheese with Crispy Potato Wedges
(T) Chicken Parmesan Subs on Homemade Buns
(W) Stovetop Spaghetti
(T) Hearty Minestrone Soup with Homemade Buns
(F) Homemade Pizza
(S) Greek Marinated Chicken
Spring Dinner Recipes: Week 4
(S) Bacon, Avocado, Blue Cheese Salad
(M) Italian Pasta Salad
(T) Grilled Fruit & Cheese Sandwiches on Very Little Bother Oat Bread
(W) Vegetable Stir-fry
(T) Chicken Noodle Soup
(F) Cast Iron Skillet Pizza
(S) Spanish Rice Bowls
You might see that this meal plan lacks variety on Friday nights. That’s because Pizza is our family tradition! We each have a job and it becomes an event that we truly enjoy. We’ve nailed down the perfect pizza dough and sauce and mix up the toppings.
Don’t hesitate to keep a family tradition if you want. Simply keep variety with some of the other family favorites. Never forget it’s YOUR meal plan for YOUR family. They should all look a little different!
If you need more spring dinner recipes – check out the meal plan archives.