What is for dinner today ?
Updated: Apr 15
I find this question quite irritating, especially when asked right after lunch or just after I return from office. This is equally irritating regardless of who asks me the question.
For one, I wish I could ask this question, for a change! Why is this always directed at me ?
Immediately after a full-fledged lunch, I don’t want to think about eating ever again - leave alone cooking! And as soon as I am back from office, I just want to eat and crash - the question reminds me to just set aside my working woman role and don the avatar of the cook of the house.. And the most difficult part - I didn’t have the answer. Who wants to think and come up with some wonderful idea when one has to decide and get going soon - to make sure the food is ready before the kids are too hungry and cranky ? So, I always opted for the same standard easy ones that was the fall back option in my house. You know what I am talking about, right ? Don’t we all have these fall back options which we do repeat very often ?
So, my quest, all those years ago, was to figure out a way in which I do not have to face this question at my weakest points in the day! Meal planning was a boon, the ultimate solution to this problem. Meal planning is deciding what to eat for all meals, a week in advance. It doesn’t mean you repeat the same stuff every Monday/Wed etc. It just means you plan and decide in advance.
When I started trying it, searching in Google was not the default option - yes, I started the meal plan trials much before the age of smart phones. And over a period of time, I realized that the meal plan format remained the same whereas the thinking behind it changed!
Recently, when I was researching as part of the podcast episode on this topic, I decided to Google for meal plans. And the result set, especially when I clicked on Images, was mind boggling. Look at what appeared on my screen below -
No wonder this is scary.. How to choose which one to follow ? Why add one more complex thing to do in an already overflowing to do list ?
Do not get put off by this. I see lot of articles originating from the West talking about meal planning in the context of just dinner. I was wondering why. And I realized these articles assume breakfast is cereal and fruit/juice, lunch bought or available at school or at office. I see this starting to happen in many families here in Bangalore where many schools have started providing lunch and many offices have canteen facilities. But, most of us, need to think about breakfast, lunch and dinner, not to mention the snacks in between, for the kids and the young at heart family members of the house.
So, how to make it easier ? Even if you are not cooking, this process will help you be more intentional about the thing that brings a family close together the most. Still not convinced ? Or, are you wondering how to do it ?
Listen to episode 7 from New Indian Woman podcast for more details on the benefits plus how to do it. Listen to it here :
Do see my sample meal plan - no this is not sample - this is the one I used recently.
I am eager to hear your feedback after trying out this approach..