Monday, September 23, 2013

Putting Breakfast on Autopilot - A Weekly Rotation Plan!

As our family grows and our school-time activities expands, I am constantly on the lookout for anything that will make our days and weeks run more smoothly. Anything that can be put on some sort of autopilot is a special blessing, because it removes the time-burden of planning sessions.

One household item that has worked very well on a rotating schedule is breakfast. Planning breakfasts was really turning into a nuisance, and scheduling the same meal for the same day of the week is working beautifully. Here's how it works right now:

Monday: Yogurt with berries (seasonal or frozen blueberries) and homemade granola
Tuesday: Scrambled eggs
Wednesday: Oatmeal
Thursday: Fried eggs
Friday: Cereal
Saturday: Special (pancakes, waffles, donuts, fried cornmeal mush, etc.)
Sunday: Oatmeal

Egg days usually have fruit or meat with them.

I would love to add toast to some of these meals, but - alas! - gluten is an issue around here. If gluten is were not an issue (or if we have gluten-free bread around, which we never do), I love to put Peanut-Butter Banana Toast (toast, peanut butter, honey, sliced banana) on the menu - easy, fast, delicious, lots of protein and healthy fat to keep kidlets from getting hungry quickly.

I don't serve cereal very often because I find that its "staying power" is pretty much zero - in other words, I can't even get the dishes washed before I hear "Mom, I'm hunggrrryyyy." I try to make sure that meals have protein and fat to make sure that they will get kids through to the next snack or meal time.

(All of the above, of course, applies only to the family - for me, breakfast is eggs, usually in the form of a vegetable omelette! Yum.)

Regardless of what meals are chosen (I've changed my selections several times!), it has helped very much to have a regular rotating plan. I'm sure that the meal choices will change, but I plan to continue keeping a rotating schedule.

I know that some families choose to do something similar with dinners - for example, Monday is an Italian dish, Tuesday is Mexican, Wednesday is soup, etc. I've even heard of families that have the same dinner on the same nights of the week - i.e. Monday is meatloaf, Tuesday is tacos, Wednesday is roast, etc. That last one would be a bit much for me! But I do realize that some sort of weekly dinner routine would also be helpful - though I haven't gotten that far yet. Something to plan for the future!

Yogurt Parfaits - plain yogurt, strawberry jam, frozen blueberries, fresh strawberries. Incredibly easy to make! 

How do you streamline your meal planning, for breakfast or dinner? (Or lunch or snacks, for that matter?) I'd love to hear your tips and tricks!

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