Meal Planning Made Simple(r)
Work, school, after school activities, cooking dinner—weekdays are incredibly busy for the whole family. When it comes to easy weeknight meals, however, planning ahead can make a world of difference. David Murphy, Executive Chef at one of Aramark’s largest school district clients, shares tips on how to achieve meal-time success when time is of the essence.
Make a Plan
Answering simple questions can help you build your weekly menu. What healthy foods do you want to introduce to your family? Which ingredients in the fridge need to be used? What’s in season? To switch it up, get the kids involved in the brainstorming process, Chef David (left) recommends. “It can get everyone excited for the week’s plan.”
Make a list, bring your list with you (!) and be intentional. “After all, what goes in your grocery cart or farmers’ market bag winds up on your plate at homes,” says Chef David. With every purchase, make sure it’s something you need to replace or have a plan for in the coming days. And, if your children are older, divide and conquer the list.
Get Everyone Involved (Especially Kids)
Don’t do all the work yourself. Ask each family member to pick one main course each week. That could be an old favorite, or something new they want to try. “Use this time to talk to your children about following a balanced diet,” says Chef David. Including the whole family can teach important cooking skills your children will need to lead a healthier life.
Note: Since everyone’s health history and nutritional needs are so different, please make sure that you talk with your doctor and a registered dietitian to get advice about the diet and exercise plan that‘s right for you.