Jon and I have been talking a lot about meal planning and menu's the last few days.
I don't cook much. It's not that I can't, but lets not tell Jon that ok? I don't even really mind the cooking part as much as the cleaning. What I hate though? Having to pick what to eat! After a long day at work I really just don't want to have to think about what to make or what veggies go with it. Honestly, if I didn't have kids to feed I'd rather just skip dinner altogether!
This is where the menu plan idea came up. One concern was what if we don't 'feel' like eating what is on the menu that day. I hear this a lot around the office. People bring their lunches and then talk themselves into going out to eat because they don't feel like eating what they brought. Really, what they want is something fast and hot and bad for them.
Food is a means of fueling our body. Think about it, even when you eat something that you really love the taste of, how long does it take you? Five or ten minutes max? It would be very easy to consume 1,200 or more calories in a ten minute window. How worth it do you think that is? How long would it take you to burn 1,200 calories?
We don't give our kids the option of eating only what they are in the mood for. We expect them to eat what is served to them because it's healthy and proportioned right and we don't expect any negative feed back. In that same spirit we have decided to go back to basics with meal planning. We are each going to plan a weeks worth of full day menu's. From that we will create a standard shopping list that we can mark off when we run out of an item and thus will be set every other week when we go shopping! We are both pretty excited about this plan, a couple less things to stress about every week! We will know our daily calories / carbs are within reason, we won't have to worry about the dreaded 'whats for dinner' question and grocery shopping will hopefully be a little easier!
Do you plan out a menu? How far out do you go? Do you end up bored eating the same foods and how important do you think a large variety of foods is?