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Planning a weeks worth of your family’s meals might sound challenging if you have never done it before. There are some things you can do to make it easier. Here’s one of them.

Start with your family!

Include hubby and any children old enough to provide meaningful input in a meal planning session. Ask them to tell you their preferences. And write down what they say.

It’s a lot easier to do this if you organize yourself ahead of time.

First, set a specified amount of time aside, say 15-20 minutes. Several meetings may be required. Let your family know you want to meet with them and for how long. Decide on a day. Inform them of their homework assignment: to think about what they like to eat.

In the meantime, get out some paper. At the top of one sheet write “Meat Dishes”. Write “Desserts” on another piece of paper, “Vegetables/Sides” on another, “Breads” on another. Add any other categories of food you normally cook.

When you meet with your family, arrive fully prepared. Starting with say meat dishes, write down what your family likes and dislikes. Do the same for the other categories. This will give you some clear guidelines for developing a meal plan.

I want to caution you to mind your emotions. You may be caught off guard when say your husband admits he does not like a dish he’d previously told you he liked. He probably did so to avoid hurting your feelings.

Developing a meal plan is a serious home-masking task. If you are the type who gets hurt easily, let your family know you want their input, but to please be honest in a nice way.

When it comes to children, they will often say they don’t like things. They prefer to fill up on sweets and other foods that are not good for them. Explain that while you are taking their preferences into consideration, you and your husband have the final say on what will be served and what they are expected to eat.

The nutritional needs and preferences of your husband are more important than the whims of the children. It is the man who expends physical and mental energy to provide for the family. His hard work allows everyone else in the household to remain comfortable at home or school.

So . . . what’s for dinner? For the next seven days! Today’s the day to decide! And I just happen to have a FREE Menu Planning form right here (Weekly Meal Planning Sheet).