How I Feed My Family 7 Days a Week and Still Keep My Sanity



This is part of a sponsored campaign with McDonald’s®. All opinions are my own.

Our oldest is 21 years old. So, yes…I have been planning meals for people other than myself for 21 years now. And feeding your family is an activity that never ends. The only reason it’s not a 24X7 activity is that they have to sleep sometimes…right? Wrong…our oldest son is a night owl and I swear I hear him in the kitchen in the wee hours of the morning.

So as the person that is responsible for our family’s meals, I’ve had to come up with a system that allows me to not only keep my family fed, healthy and happy, but also keep my sanity. Here are 6 tips that help me keep errrrrbody happy, including myself…

I plan my meals. When I go to the grocery store, I know which meals I’m going to cook. I don’t just grab meats and a bunch of ingredients and hope that it all comes together.

I use my crockpot. I know you have one…so dust it off. Or, go get one. There are crockpot recipes out there that will take care of your entire meal (throw the meat and veggies in there…walk away and violá…dinner is done.) And you should have enough for more than one day. Which leads me to my next tip.

I make enough for leftovers – I don’t cook a new meal each and every day. If I plan this right, I only have to cook 3 to 4 days out of a 7 day week. Every week I am making a big pot of something… spaghetti, home-made chicken soup and vegetable soup, or chili. This will cover at least 2.5 meals.

A bag of salad is my saving grace. I make sure I get a bag of salad when I am grocery shopping. In my case, I get a bag of mixed greens and a bag of baby spinach and I mix them. We have a large family… so this will last us for at least two meals. I pair the salad with a rotisserie chicken, a lasagna, or even baked or barbeque chicken.

I have go-to spots. As I said before, there is no way I cook dinners 7 days a week. So there is at least one day of the week where I am going to take a break from it all and treat the kids to one of their favorite places like McDonald’s. McDonald’s makes my kids happy…very happy…every time without fail. And it makes me happy to see them choosing the apple slices and the side salads (yes …those weekly salads that I serve have paid off in that they are now making their own healthy choices at school and at McDonald’s.) And, this leaves me to my final tip.

I focus on the moments that matter. I want my kids to remember that we ate together for dinner almost every night of the week. I want them to remember our dinner conversations that consist of lots of jokes, getting caught up on what’s happening in school, and discussing plans for the weekend. And what I don’t want them to remember is a tired, stressed out mom. So I try to balance preparing them meals with making sure that I am emotionally available to spend quality time with them in the evenings.

BMWK – if you are responsible for your family’s meal planning, what process have you come up with to balance keeping everybody happy, including yourself?

This article originally appeared at BMWK.

image: Getty