For many busy moms, menu planning in advance is an invaluable tool. It allows them to have a general idea of what their family will have for dinner instead of scrambling at the last minute to get something on the table.
I have a unique situation where I work from home but, due to my late work schedule, don’t have to worry about dinner because my husband takes care of it. I do, however, need to worry about breakfast, lunch and snacks. My goal throughout the day is to make healthy choices so I tried menu planning for these meals but for some reason, it just didn’t work for me. I tend to choose what I eat based on whatever I’m ‘in the mood for’ so as a result, it was impossible to choose my meals in advance.
There’s also another important factor when choosing my meals: what healthy options do I have in the house? That’s when I got the idea to keep a ‘food inventory’ of all the healthy food options I have in the house to help me decide what to eat. I designed the template to keep track of foods I have in stock by category: Vegetables (or Veggies), Fruits, Grains, Drinks, Ingredients, Other, and Leftovers.
This approach worked out better for me because it prevented me from choosing ‘unhealthy’ options and allowed to quickly prepare a healthy meal. Before, I would forget what I had in the house as well as what had recently finished or expired. My food inventory–which I update every Sunday–helps me to remember. It was a subtle shift in approach but very effective in achieving the same goal: planning my meals. For moms with a similar situation as mine, those who prefer to choose meals on a whim, or even those who are single and only have to plan for themselves, I highly recommend you give this approach a try. If you do, I’d love to hear about your experience so please come back and share in the comments below.
Hope this helps! 🙂