Those of you who know me, know that I have quite a few amazing women in my life. One of those amazing women is my wonderful cousin, Jana. She is an incredible stay at home mom and wife and I am continually in awe of her ability to run a fantastic household of 6 (and one extra after school). One thing that makes me insanely jealous of Jana is her propensity for organization. Jana's house (at least to the outward observer) is an ordered, peaceful place. With 4, sometimes 5 kids running around that house, I am sure there are messes and crazy times, but at the heart of her home is organization. Jana runs her house like a well oiled machine. Now that I am staying home full time, she will be hearing from me more often for advice and tips on how to get my own house in order.
Last week I made one of those calls. Jana previously mentioned to me that she has a new schedule of breakfast and snacks for the week. If you have kids at home, you know that there are times throughout the day when the pantry is constantly open and snacks are flying out at lightning speed. In the midst of all this snack chaos, Jana decided to get control by making a breakfast and after school snack menu. She had her children help her come up with five different options for breakfast and five different options for after school snacks. She took the menu items and put them on a chart that hangs in the kitchen for everyone to see. The menu is always the same on the same day each week. If they have fruit and toast on Mondays, she makes toast and puts out three toppings for the kids to choose from, peanut butter, jelly, etc. Cereal day, she puts out three healthy cereals for them to choose. Snack, is a bit different, there is one option each day. Things like graham crackers and peanut butter, pretzels and yogurt, goldfish and grapes, always nutritious and filling. My favorite part? Friday is treat day, there are sugary cereals for breakfast and a sweet snack, I am sure frequently home baked, for snack.
I love this idea and will be implementing it in my own home. I have three of my own and one little sweetie I babysit, and I am so tired of saying, "Don't ask me for anything else". Jana told me she loves this menu, because it makes these two times of the day easier, her children eat healthy snacks and she saves money at the grocery store, because she only buys what is on the menu! What area of menu planning can make your day easier and less expensive? I know not all of you stay home, so as working moms and dads, do you have a dinner menu? A lunch packing menu that is the same each week? Think about it and post a comment letting me know what you come up with! Thank you Jana...you can expect a call later this week!