So, I wrote a post about meal planning a little while back. But now it’s summer. So you don’t have to meal plan in summer right? Well, you might think not, but that’s not working out so great for me! I felt like I wanted to be more relaxed for summer. I figured I could just leisurely pick some yummy ingredients, and make meals on the fly and enjoy making meals with plenty of time in the day to enjoy it. Yeah… Ok… What part of me forgot that I still have four busy, demanding children, and a long list of things that need to be done every day?! Or that I’m pregnant and might just not feel like cooking or ya know, thinking, on any given day?! Or the “minor” fact that with out a plan I might not have ingredients in my house that go well together to make an actual meal?! Or… or… or…! Yeah, so, not the best plan! I think it’s wonderful to allow things to be more laid back in the summer. I think some leisure helps us to appreciate the structure we need during the rest of the year. And on the same token I think we need to have a bit of release from structure at times just to be able to relax and maybe feel a bit rebellious! Unfortunately I tend to be a bit rebellious by nature, so allowing myself to rebel here and there helps me to “adult” better when I really need to!
I do enjoy being able to spend more time on breakfast and lunch. During the school year I only have so much time in the mornings to feed everyone and pack lunches. So breakfast prep needs to be minimal or everyone ends up eating cold cereal or packaged granola bars! The lunches I pack tend to also be pretty typical and not real exciting. Which is a good reason to be prepared. Since I can do things that take more time, it’s nice to make sure that I have all the necessary ingredients. It’s really nice being able to make different things and try them out. Other issues as far as lunch goes can be many. If I don’t have a plan I often end up telling them “You know what we have, go grab something.” Leaving it up to them is ok sometimes, but often leads to poor choices being made. And, I know, you are going to think I’m a terrible mother, but I actually forget to feed them lunch sometimes! I think “Oh yeah, I need to make some lunch.” And then before I decide what to make I’m distracted or busy, and the whining starts because everyone’s starving! Yes I eventually feed them, but later than normal, and closer to dinner time than I would prefer.
Speaking of dinner, no plan often means no meat set out to thaw! So late lunch isn’t the worst thing because we just might have a late dinner too! And the sides are pretty repetitive and boring if I haven’t made a menu and thought of different options to offer with each meal, and compliment it nicely.
I leave days blank and try to have the ingredients for a few extra slow cooker meals in case I decide to go somewhere and won’t be home in time to cook. I still try to keep it flexible, but for me it’s best to have a plan!
Oh, yeah, and as a bonus tip: pre-planning snacks in the summer is a great idea. One that I highly recommend. Kids become bottomless pits when they’re home all day and want to snack just about as much as they breath! I get annoyed when they make a lot of bad decisions, so I try to have some healthy, or at least kindof healthy stuff available.
What about you? Any tips on Summer meal planning, cooking, or snacking? I’d love to hear all about them in the comments! I hope you’re having a great summer! I’ll talk to you soon!
Smile through the Trials!
I do enjoy being able to leisurely cook breakfast, and can do things that are more time consuning
Kids eat junk, or make poor choices
I forget to feed them
We eat later than we should, gets too close to dinner time
Dinner same as always, just easier with a plan. Might forget to get meat out, not know what I have, etc.