Friday, April 9, 2010

Weekly Meal Planning The Single Parent Way

I've been trying to come up with some meal planning routines for while Joey's gone.

So far, I'm thinking breakfasts will be mostly a combination of cereals, yogurt, scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, fruit, breakfast burritos and milk. All fairly easy, all of which I am capable of cooking or preparing myself in a way that I will like to eat it. As opposed to over easy eggs, which I cannot prepare at all and must rely on Joey to make for me. So I'm eating my fill of those while he's still here. . .

Lunches will either be leftovers from dinner or sandwitches with pretzels, chips, fruit, veggies, salads, etc. All quick and easy to prepare, which is always good because I seem to lose track of time between breakfast and lunch and don't always have tons of prep time for lunch when the girls are already "starving".

Dinners are the hard ones for me. I like dinners to be healthy, wholesome, and yummy. Usually, they are hot as well. While Joey is gone, I plan to stick with what I know I and the girls like. That includes lemon pepper chicken caserole, meatloaf with mashed potatoes and steamed veggies/salad, chicken pot pie, turkey/venison burgers, chicken hot dogs, chili, 15 bean soup with cornbread, chicken ziti with salad, lasagna with salad, chicken fettuchini caserole (has steamed squash and zucchini in it) with salad, a weekly pizza night with salad, tilapia with yellow rice and steamed veggies or with baked potatoes/fries and salad, pinto beans with cornbread and salad, enchiladas, tacos, burritos, nachos, and chicken salad sandwitches (for an easy night). These are all great, healthy meals (at least the way I make them) and most of them have the added bonus of having plenty of leftovers that are easy and tasty to reheat for lunch the next day or dinner the next night. Some of them even have an additional bonus of being able to be made into another dinner for the next night.

If you've noticed that most of my meals include salad, that's because its a veggie side that all my girls will eat without complaint. I'd love to experiment while Joey is gone and find new veggies/veggie dishes that the girls will eat, but I think it will be just too frustrating for me if they don't eat what I prepare and then I'll worry about if they are getting all the nutrients they need, etc. I may end up experimenting some, but my mission for while Joey is gone is to provide a happy, healthy, peaceful environment for my kids and having a stressed out mom or a mom who's frustrated because she spent x amount of time trying to make something new they'd like only to have them turn their nose up at it will not help me in my mission. So for now, I plan to stick with what I know.

I'm not sure how I'll determine a weekly meal plan while Joey is gone. Some people do a different meat every night (i.e. monday ham night, tuesday chicken, wednesday fish, thursday beef, friday turkey, etc), some people do a different genre of food every night (i.e. monday pizza, tuesday mexican, wednesday italian, thursday chinese, etc) and some people just pick a certain meal for ever night, but I prefer to just choose 7-10 dinners as options for that week and make sure that I have the ingredients on hand so that come 4 pm whatever I'm hankering for, I can prepare for dinner. That's more pregnant friendly IMO.

So there are my thoughs on weekly meal planning the single parent way. Keep it simple, stick with what you know and what you know you like, always be prepared and be flexible.


  1. so hailey and i had a make your own pizza night. i put onions peppers ground beef, cheese and peporronis on mine. she did olives for the smile. pepooroni for the eyes, a carrot? for the nose ground beef for the skin and cheese....then we spread out a towel and watched the princess and the frog while we were eating. was so fun! thanks for the great idea :o)

  2. Oh, I wish we had been there! I'm glad you guys had lots of fun with pizza night. Its nice to have the kids helping make dinner and even nicer to make it something they enjoy! I'm thinking about letting the kiddos help out a lot more with meal prep once Joey's in basic. They enjoy it and so do I. . . he's just too wound up in the kitchen for the kids to help most of the time and he just likes to be head chef LOL. Which isn't that compatible with kiddos helping if you know what I mean. . .