Just about everyone has heard of Taco Tuesdays, the night of the week where taco’s come to dinner and kids (and parents) everywhere can’t wait for Tuesday to come around, but there is no reason that Tuesdays should have all the fun!
I’m sure Taco Tuesday started as a great marketing plan in a corporate boardroom to increase sales but it can actually be a busy parent’s best friend. In fact, it is essentially just meal planning in a fun themed way.
So why not take it to the next level? Think Meatball Mondays, Stir Fry Saturdays and Thursday Take-Away!
Here are 6 reasons why I think it is worth trying to plan out your own family version:
- It removes the “what will I cook tonight” headache. Ouch!
- It provides vision for your children as to what you will be eating each night (no surprises) and less "what's for dinner discussions".
- It makes shopping easier as you have a clear vision of what you require each week.
- Assists with sticking to a budget.
- Reduces food waste
- Reduces “meal feedback” as you can prioritise meals that you know the entire family love.
If that all sounds great but in the back of your mind you are thinking, I don’t want to eat Spaghetti every Sunday, or Tuna on Tuesdays, you can broaden the theme. For example: Thursday’s Thai could include several dishes on the table that are shared with the entire family, this means you can all sit down to the same meal which helps with inclusiveness especially for fussier eaters. Or perhaps try broadening your theme to enable you to increase variety but still easily plan, as an example Taco Tuesday could be replaced with Monday Mexican which allows you to choose from a range of products but still to a set theme.
Building from the food themes or perhaps instead of the food theme you can also theme behaviours you would like to see, such as:
- Sit Down Together Saturday
- Monday Manners Night
- Fridays Finger Food
- Friday Family Dinners
- Make Your Own Meal Monday
This can be a simple way of setting the tone for the night, or changing existing behaviours. I like to include a mixture of themed foods and behaviour nights so that not every night has a prescribed meal.
Wondering where to start? You can build up your week with meals and behaviours yourself or work together as a family to plan them out, this will gain more buy in and ownership, especially for older children. To help, here are some additional meals to prompt discussion:
Monday - Meatballs, Marinara, Mexican, Manners Night, Meat free, Make your own dinner.
Tuesday - Taco, Teriyaki, Trout, Tagliatelle, Tofu, Tempura, Try something new.
Wednesday - Whiting, White night, Wheat free, Whatever is left over in the fridge night!
Thursday - Thai, Turkey Mince Hamburgers, Tomato soup, Tuna Steaks.
Friday - Focaccia, Falafel Wraps, Frittata, Fajitas, Fat free, Fry Up, Finger food, Family dinners, Friends over for dinner.
Saturday - Spaghetti, Sausages, Steak, Sushi, Salad, Sit down together dinner
Sunday - Salmon, Shrimp, Schnitzel, Sweet Potato Jackets, Smoothie.
Of course, it goes without saying that adding a little more fun to family dinner goes a long way too, if you are looking to change your family mealtime dynamic, take a look at Around The Table dinner conversation starters and games HERE they will bring everyone closer around your table.