In general, I try to plan out menus in advance, because I think it saves both time and money later on. But sometimes I get stymied when it comes to figuring out meals. I finally took a little bit of time and decided what I think constitutes an acceptable meals for my family. In general, here's how it plays out for us:
Our meals will always include:
- A protein
- A starch
- A vegetable or fruit
Our meals will usually include:
- A second vegetable or fruit
Our meals will often include:
- A bread of some sort, in addition to the other starch listed above
Our meals will sometimes include:
- A third vegetable or fruit
- A dessert or other sweet
Our meals will rarely include:
- An appetizer
So, do you plan meals, and if so, do you have a formula like this to guide you? Or am I over-analyzing this?
I remember growing up, we usually had meals made up of a protein, a starch (almost always potatoes), a couple of veggie sides, and some relishes. We always had bread, but rarely had dessert. Sweets and fruits were usually eaten as snacks instead of a way to end a meal. I wonder if my mom put a lot of thought into our meals or if it just came naturally to her. Our meals were very consistent, and she shopped from a list, but I don't remember ever seeing her sit down to plan our meals.