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How to Simplify Family Menu Planning

Back to school season putting you in a panic? Do you feel like you never know what to make your family for dinner? Are you ending up at the grocery store every single day?

If you can relate to these statements, I got you covered. I am going to help you simplify your weekly family menu planning with 6 easy steps.

Step 1: Get Organized

I always recommend starting a “recipe binder”. This is a binder which houses all of your favourite recipes. They might be ripped out of a magazine, on a cue card, printed out, etc. Whatever it is, just hole punch it and put into your binder! Add some dividers, choose your categories, and organize all of your recipes in there.

Step 2: Create a “Dinner Idea List”

Now that you’ve organized all of your past and future recipes, you want to create a list of your “go-to” dinners. When you sit down to make this list, scan the web for inspiration and ideas and record dinners that you already make or want to make. These meals will utilize your recipes in your binder. You can put these into a scheduled rotation if you would like to get organized ahead of time or you can refer to this list when you’re doing weekly planning.

Step 3: Weekly Menu Planning

Sit down, refer to your “dinner idea list” (above) and pick your meals for the week. Pick a menu planning tool to jot everything down. I personally go back and forth between my notes on my phone, our blackboard, or scrap pieces of paper. There are great free pintables on the internet too that I’ve used and love! I strongly recommend doing this on the same day and time every week. For me it’s Sunday nights.

Step 4: Generate Grocery List

Generate a grocery list from menu plan. Keep an ongoing list in your notebook or posted on a blackboard, etc. This way when it’s time to make your weekly list, the staples are already on there and you’re not searching for what you need.

Step 5: Shop!

Pick a day to do your weekly shop and just like with your planning, keep it consistent. Sunday or Monday usually works best, but you can pick a day that suits your schedule. I recommend Sun or Mon because this will get it out of the way for the week.

Step 6: Post Your Menu Plan

Find a place in the kitchen to post your plan so that it is visible, and you remember to follow it! I love black boards, white board or cork boards for this! You can also purchase blackboard wall decals which you can stick to any flat surface. I put one up in my kitchen and I use it every day! Kids love colouring on them while you’re cooking too!

If you feel like you don't have the time or energy to do the planning, you can order a family dinner menu rotation from me! I have rotations with anywhere from 4-6 weeks available. I will package everything into a binder with all of my popular family-friendly recipes. For more information contact:

Samantha is a Registered Dietitian who has worked in the field of nutrition and dietetics for over 10 years. She spent the first 7 years of her career working as a Clinical Dietitian at Toronto General Hospital. Samantha now focuses exclusively on private practice, where she counsels clients with varying nutrition and lifestyle needs

#nutrition #registereddietitian #menuplanning #healthyeating

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