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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The New Plan

Sometimes insomnia is such a wonderful thing.  Although, this morning's insomnia was coupled with a migraine at 4am, so maybe not so much.

I didn't waste the time, though.

Before I went to bed last night, I checked Facebook.  A friend's status stated something about how much money is saved when you have a meal plan. 

Let me just tell you, if you ever decide to go back to school, have a rotating menu that you can follow the entire time you're taking classes.  I had one that came and went, and when things got really busy, I totally let it slide.  We've still been continuing our sliding pattern these past few weeks.  Time to get it together.

I think I'm ready to implement a meal plan.  Not just a meal plan, though....A meal plan with a twist.

I woke up with my friend's status on my mind, and I thought about my kids.  During the summer, we split up cooking duties--each child has a night to cook dinner.  I haven't done this during the school year just to give my kids a break so they can focus on their studies, school activities, etc.  As I thought about this this morning, I realized that I'm not doing them any favors.  The day's going to come when they're going to have school, work, love lives, etc., and they're going to have to work eating in with all that somewhere.

So, the twist...I have decided to allow each of my children from the five-year-old on up, a night to cook dinner.  They're not allowed to throw a frozen pizza in; that would be cheating, but they can make something simple as long as there is a vegetable in there somewhere--along with a protein and a grain, of course.

Once a week, we will sit down together and each will tell me what they plan to make on their night.  I will shop for the ingredients.  The older kids can make dinner by themselves, but I will work with #4, 5 and 6.  #4 might not even need me. We'll see.

#1 and #2 left for school before I was able to present the idea to them.  #6 is on board for this evening.  He's making chili mac and salad.  I just asked him if he was planning on doing something for dessert (kind of rare at our house).  He said, "Yes.  Hot chocolate."

So far, #5's making teriyaki chicken on rice tomorrow night.  He'll probably do corn to go along with it.  He'll throw the chicken in the crockpot before he heads to school, and it will be done by the time he gets home.  #3's making grilled tuna sandwiches on Thursday.  --#1 and 2 just walked in.  Man, oh man!  You should have seen the eye-rolling!  But, they're willing to give it a go.--  #4 is making pizza next Monday.  I haven't a clue what I'm doing for Sunday, but I'll get there.

So, no, I didn't get any sleep this morning, but I love it when a good idea comes from it all.  Somehow it makes it worth it.  Maybe because of this plan, I'll be sleeping better in the future.


LeAnn said...

I totally loved reading this one. I think it is awesome that you are teaching your children to cook. I did this when I had to work and the older boys were the ones doing the cooking. Later on their mission companions and their wives love that they know how to cook. The girls of course cooked with me when they were ready and at that time I was home full time. i loved the pictures and especially the ones of the boys in aprons.

Alyson said...

I've had a list of the meals we actually eat up on the fridge for years, and we use it to plan our meals out before I grocery shop. (And it has saved me so much money and so much fresh produce not wasted.) But finally, after years and years of it, I stretched it and tweaked it and made a 28-day menu where only two of our favorite meals (curry rice and spaghetti) are repeated, everything else we eat only once a month. We're on month #2 and it has been so incredibly freeing. I never have to wonder what's for dinner and it's a snap to make a shopping list. What's more, if I haven't been shopping everything I need is probably down in food storage. Why oh why didn't I put together this 28-day perpetual meal plan years ago? When I want a kid to cook, I just make 'em cook whatever comes next, though; your plan of having kids cook what they want to is much better in that way than mine is.

David Read said...

We did this with our kids when they were growing up, and yes there was a certain amount of eye-rolling, and weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.
It paid off though - as those kids have departed to missions/college, every one of them has thanked us for teaching them to cook!

Kel said...

I will admit I am a child of the rotating night for cooking. It definitely helped my cooking skills. Sometimes it made us stretch if we didn't tell my mom what we wanted to make, but like what was said earlier thank goodness for food storage. Just be careful that one kid switches up what they choose for dinner. You can only have chicken and rice so many Thursdays in a row... cough...Tracy...cough:-)

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