This is a quick blog post about Breakfast/Lunch/Snack Rotation for our home.
Lately, I have been getting lots of questions about how I meal plan. Some are the regular questions I get about exactly how we feed 13 folks each day (my 3 older children are grown and in homes of their own). The latest questions are just from moms who are looking for ways to simplify meal plans for their families.
My family may be different from your family. We like variety each week so I don’t plan the same dinner meals over and over but breakfast, lunch and snack meals are pretty much the same every week.
(In this house, I laminate everything! My laminator is one of the my most used homemaking tools!)
I am always looking for ways to simplify even this menu, but this is the basic outline we follow. We stay on this rotation each week and rarely deviate. If I’m nursing a baby, am sick, or am just not able to be here when these meals are being made, any of my children from Meredith (age 8) and up can get breakfast on the table.
In the weeks to come, I will link back to this post with our specific recipes.
I can post a .pdf version of our Breakfast/Lunch/Snack Rotation, if that would help someone.
The following are some quick thoughts about these meals (or you can watch the video, if you would prefer!):
Our baked oatmeal recipe is from my very dear friend, Sheryl. It is the best we have ever eaten. I do change things up here and there and add fruit or nuts just depending on what we have on hand.
We also make 3 or 4 pans of this at one time and freeze them to be thawed on Sunday night. (If you don’t remember, just cover it in foil. It will still taste just fine!)
If you stay on a meal rotation like this, remembering to sit freezer meals out at the right time for thawing is as easy as creating a google calendar with reminders. It will ding your phone to remind you!
Cereal for us is actually my sweet friend, Betsy’s granola recipe. I will also add that recipe in the coming weeks. We use it for cereal days with milk and mix it with yogurt.
Eggs on English muffins are made in bulk and frozen on my freezer day. These get individually wrapped in wax paper and frozen in gallon size ziplock bags. This is another ‘set an alarm and pull it out the night before’ meal.
Pancakes/waffles and muffins are pre-made and frozen. Set your alarm to remind you to pull them out the night before.
I buy a ham once a month from Sam’s for these kinds of meals. I can go ahead and chop/slice the meat and add it to individual bags for soups, meals, etc. I then make broth from the bone to use when I can dried beans.
I am dieting. For me, this means I can have overnight oats for breakfast on oatmeal days. I drink a smoothie on granola/cereal days. I don’t eat the toast with my smoothies. I eat an egg with my sausage instead of a muffin or pancake.
We have lunch with our church pretty much every Sunday. This meal has become super simple since implementing our meal bags. We take a bag out the night before church and pour it into the crock pot or place in the oven for cooking the next morning while we dress for church. Easy!
P, B & J sandwiches as well as ham and cheese sandwiches are all pre-made and frozen. We wrap them in fold top sandwich bags and pack them all back into the original bread bags. When my older children needing a quick meal, or we are running out the door for an unexpected errand, we always have food ready to pack into a cooler. On normal days, this is a meal with NO prep time and NO dishes. My younger children LOVE their p, b, & j sandwiches frozen on in hot days in Alabama.
Soup is pretty much up in the air depending on what we have in the freezer. I’m pretty partial to taco soup because everyone loves it and it can be served over tortilla chips for a change or to spread it out if you have unexpected guests. We also love broccoli and cheese and chicken noodle soup. Chicken noodle soup is absolutely easy when you have broth and roasted chicken on hand. You literally shred the chicken and add some noodles and a few spices. That is it!
We keep hamburger meat pre-browned and seasoned for taco salad in the freezer. The rest is just thrown together from things we have in the pantry and the fridge.
Burritos are all made on the same day , usually from homemade refried beans. We make a ton and freeze them into meal-size portions.
Lunch may deviate from these plans if we have leftovers from dinner the night before (we often do!).
I do not plan snacks on Sunday. We are gone most of the day. Folks may wander in and out with snacks that afternoon but we try to plan nothing that is labor intensive. It is a rest day.
I’m in the habit of freezing yogurt or coconut water with fruit into snack bags for popsicles. When the children want to eat them, they just cut of the end and use it as a push pop. The popsicles aren’t necessarily less expensive this way but they are much healthier.
At the moment, this Breakfast/Lunch/Snack Rotation is posted on my fridge.
I’ve always used a calendar for Breakfast/Lunch/Snack Rotation, but had to re-write everything from month to month. We have used this rotation (for the most part), for so long, most here know it by memory now. I thought it was time to change out the calendar for the rotation schedule.
I’m excited to share what we have been doing for dinner for the last several months but that will have to wait for another post.
We have created a system that we have tried and tested. Meal planning and prep has become super-easy, which I need during this season of life!
This blog post is a first in a series I am doing. I have created a system I am calling the “Three Month Master Plan”. It’s powerful. It’s effective. If you are frustrated with your home or with your life, if you just wish you could accomplish more, pop back over for a visit. It will be well worth your time.
So how about you, friends? Do you have a simplified version of planning and creating healthy meals for your family? Please share.
I love you ladies!