Planning a week of meals for two adults is difficult enough — add in kids and the task of coming up with weeknight-friendly meals that appeal to everyone can seem nearly impossible. This week we are asking meal-planning experts to share dinner menus for all kinds of diets and situations, and today Dinner: A Love Story author Jenny Rosenstrach has a flexible five-day plan of family dinners that keep everyone happy.
A Kid-Friendly 5-Day Meal Plan
- Barbecue Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with Coleslaw
- Avocado and tomato salad
- Asian Cabbage with Shrimp or Chicken (your choice)
- Soy-Ginger Tofu
- Sautéed spinach
- White or brown rice
Why is this meal plan a good one for a mixed group of adults and kids?
It works because first and foremost, if you have a decent enough pantry your Sunday shop will consist mostly of picking up produce and perishables. (Also, as long as I'm here: The once-a-week Sunday shop is key!) There is enough ingredient overlap to make you feel like you're not buying up the whole store, but not so much that it feels like you are eating the same thing every night. You can make dishes in whatever order works for your family, but I like to make a big batch of Barbecue Pulled Chicken Sandwiches on Sunday. Whatever chicken don't stuff into buns with cole slaw that night I stash in the freezer in single portions and dole out to any potential staggerers (who can't make it home in time to sit with the rest of us) or to any kids who don't like tofu, which, actually, means both of my children. In other words, the plan works because it is flexible.
What is your best piece of advice for those planning a meal that will include children?
Be flexible. Have options. Don't beat yourself up over a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every once in a while. Family dinner is chaos, yes. But it's happy chaos. Embrace it as much as possible.
Thank you, Jenny!
(Images: Jenny Rosenstrach)