“What’s for dinner?!” The cry of every school-aged child on the way home from school has long been the same. Their minds and hands and legs have been working hard all day at school, from practicing times tables to playing tag at recess. Their tummies are ready for something delicious and handcrafted by their favorite mom in the world!
Even for the busiest mom, there is a quick and simple way to keep all your kids in the dinner loop. Better yet, it will help you stay organized and on top of all the plates you’re spinning on a daily basis. The first step is meal planning. Start your week off by sitting down and listing out the dinners you’ll cook or pick-up or defrost. Then compile a list of ingredients into a shopping list. (Bonus: There are websites that can do this for you! You enter your meals, they’ll create an organized list based on aisles at the grocery store. Check some out here.)
Once you’ve got a list and a refrigerator stocked full of fresh ingredients, you’re ready to tackle this easy organization trick: the Meal Plan Board. All you need is a fresh chalkboard or dry erase board. Grab your chalk or markers and list out your meals for the week. If you’re feeling extra crafty, you can make your own board with these quick steps:
What You’ll Need:
- A rectangular cork board (You can also use: canvas, magnetic board or anything else that paper sticks to!)
- Enough fabric to cover the board of choice
- Staple gun
- Colored scrapbook paper
- Strips of white paper
- Push pins (or magnets or staples, depending on the board type)
How You Do It:
- Cover your board with the fabric using your staple gun. Simply wrap the fabric around the board like you’re wrapping a present and staple to the back.
- Cut the scrapbook paper into circles or squares and label with the days of the week.
- Adhere the days of the week to the left side of the board, in a row vertically using staples.
- Cut another piece of scrapbook paper into a larger square or rectangle and label “Family Menu”. Adhere to the top of the board using staples.
- On the white strips of paper, write out the meals for the week. Stick the pieces next to their corresponding day of the week using push pins.
- Display your board on a kitchen wall using Command hooks or on an easel on the kitchen counter.
- Keep a cup with the paper and Sharpie nearby so you can keep it updated from week to week.
- Check out our Pinterest page for more tips on personalizing this board. You may try a dry-erase board option or a full-out family command center!
- Assign the weekly job of writing out meals to one of your kids. This will help them learn organization and responsibility.
However you choose to organize, don’t forget to be flexible! Sometimes the chicken burns and the pizza delivery guy gets a call and that’s ok. Flexibility is the key to organization success, especially as a busy mom!