Themed meal planning is the key to consistent meal planning for our family and I know it will help you too! Designate a certain theme to each night of the week and repeat them with variations throughout the month.
This type of planning will take the thinking out of it and make this annoying task so much easier! It not only saves time & money, but will make grocery shopping easier too! The kids know what to expect and so do you! And even better…get your kids involved and have them help you pick some of the theme nights.
Choose your themes based off of these three categories and then pick corresponding meals:
Ethnic Flavor – Think of your family’s favorite flavors: Mexican, Italian, Asian, etc.
Protein Type – Chicken, steak, fish or choose a meatless protein option!
Cooking Method – There are lots of different cooking methods these days! Slow cooker, instant pot, and sheet pan meals are just a few of your options.
Below is a sample week of themed meals to help you get started:
Monday: Stir Fry
Tuesday: Mexican Night(aka Taco Tuesday!)
Wednesday: Pasta Night
Thursday: One Pan Meal
Saturday: Lazy Leftover Night or Go Out to Eat
**Take a break from the kitchen one night a week!
Sunday: Slow Cooker
Here are some other theme nights for you to consider:
- Instant Pot Night
- Meatless Monday
- Soup or Sandwich Night(depending on the season!)
- Salad Night
- Pizza Night
- Breakfast for Dinner
- Kids favorite night-chicken fingers, french fries, etc.
- Casserole Night
You may want to switch up your family dinner theme nights periodically, and you can do that as often as you want. Seasons change, so you may want more soups & comfort foods in the fall and winter, and more grilling & cold foods in the spring and summer. Be flexible, do what works for your family and have fun with it!