Friday, 20 July 2012

Menu Planning

I menu plan every Saturday afternoon when Cruz goes down for a nap. I get my meal planner out, our recipe folder and the latest issue of superfood ideas to motivate me to do something a little different. I plan for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Monday - Friday. I have never menu planned for a weekend unless we are having people over for dinner on a Saturday night. Our weekend meals are normally thought of during the day when we realise we feel like something specific, or as we head out to dinner as a family. It gives me a break, which is lovely.

Breakfast normally consists of fresh orange juice, a tub of yogurt and a piece of fruit. Every now and then we make frittatas, pikelets, croissants or scrambled eggs to include with breakfast.

Lunch during the week is what we take to work/daycare with us. I make the lunchtime meal for the next day as I am making dinner at night. Over the last three weeks, our lunches have consisted of:

Spaghetti Bolognaise
Mini Quiche
Banana bread
Cheese and Zucchini muffins
Pizza Scrolls
Lasagna cups
Banana Pikelets
Pumpkin Soup
English Muffin Pizzas
Pasta bake
Hot dogs with organic sausages
Macaroni and Cheese

That's three weeks worth of lunches and something different every day. A number of these I make extras of and freeze. They are normally filling meals that are easy to make. I also try and plan lunches that I can add extra vegetables into for Cruz. With these lunch meals I add a tub of easiyo yogurt, which we have been making ourselves lately.

I also add 2 pieces of fruit and some cheese and crackers. The extras I add in change from week to week. Popcorn, carrot sticks, scones, pita bread chips and dip, rice cakes and avocado and baked beans have all been added in to lunchboxes over the past three weeks.

Other than breakfast, our lunchboxes see us through to dinner. Dinner is normally lighter than lunch. Over the last three weeks we have had:

Toasted sandwiches
Chicken and avocado wraps
Homemade pizza
A breakfast dinner (always fun)
Roast Chicken
Taco pizza
Grilled avocado, cheese and bacon sandwiches
Pumpkin Soup
Pasta bake
Bacon and Egg cups
Shepherds pie

Above are the mains for our meal, I try and change the vegetables that I add to each meal over the week for a little variety. Friday nights we have dinner with Tim's parents, so I never plan for that. It's wonderful.

Above you would have noticed the menu planner that I use. I found it on Pinterest. It has been perfect. It has space for breakfast, lunch and dinner and also includes a section for weekend meal ideas. Not to mention it is super sonic cute! You can find the link to print it out  here.

I am always after new ideas for lunch and dinner, so hope that these have helped someone else. I try and keep meals basic. Anything fancy gets left for the weekend when I have time. Keeping meals during the week simple means that they are not too overwhelming to make after a long day and we are less likely to head out for takeaway.