A tip I give to a busy mom, is one I use myself with my Special Kayes – creating a weekly meal plan. Before you groan, this is not an activity for you to do! Well, not quite! At the Kaye household, this is a family project and one I highly encourage you to try.
I’m partnering with BIC as part of their “Dream Bright. Live Colourfully.” campaign to celebrate creativity and help Canadian families map out their meals for a successful school year. Planning out the week’s meals means you have an instantly made grocery list, spend less time thinking about what to make and what ingredients you have on hand to create a meal, and allows you to proportion accordingly to ensure left-overs for future meals (and that too saves time!).
To get the girls some extra writing practice, I have them write out the meals. The planning can be as simple as a large piece of paper with days written across the top of the page and room below to write in the planned meals. Knowing that writing by hand is critical to a child’s education and development with benefits ranging from building confidence and developing critical thinking skills, to encouraging expression and inspiring creativity makes me feel like a better mom for getting them involved. Learning to put pen to paper can help young people identify their goals and reach their full potential, even in the kitchen! I mean really, although I benefit from this – it’s all for them!
So you have your paper, you have your family, and you have ideas. Start to jot down meals you might like to create. The best meals are ones the kids can get involved with too – like them grating cheese for pasta or taco night. Remember, you get the final say on what meals, but it really helps to have them involved.
Make the meal planning document bright, colourful and fun. Let the kids doodle on it. Decorate it. Make it a piece of kitchen art! BIC provided me with bright, fun and colourful supplies such as the new BIC
Gel-ocity Quick Dry gel pens and the new BIC Cristal Up ballpoint pens to add vibrant creativity to the plans. Drawings, doodles and designs are especially great if you have visual learners or kids in the family.
Plan creation doesn’t have to take all day – think more like half an hour per week. Tip – before you decide on meals, jot down key activities – there is no point in planning a roast a turkey if you’re going to be out all day. Here’s another tip – keep your old weekly plans; if you’re swamped one week, you can reuse the week before a week from last month. But the point of this is to get the kids involved, promote writing skills, and work together, so save pulling out old plans for when you really need it; otherwise, the family won’t know you’re serious about doing it.
I guarantee you’ll get into the hang of it and appreciate the usefulness of this activity. For you, for the ease it creates and the time you get spending time with your family and supporting your kids’ dreams, creativity and future development. Wink! Nudge! Now I must go write my Mother of the Year acceptance speech!