Just for fun, I let my 5-year-old daughter make this week's meal plan. As you might guess, her dinner choices are basic kid fare — with requests for macaroni, cheeseburgers with fries, and even pancakes for dinner — but I'm definitely inspired by her plan's simplicity, ease, and flair for fun.
The challenge is making sure that all her carb-rich picks are balanced with plenty of vegetables without making too much extra work for the grown-ups. Here are the five kid-favorite meals that we are cooking together this week.
Welcome to This Week's Meal Plan
Planning my weekly meals is a habit I enjoy. Since I'm frequently asked by friends and family what I'm cooking for dinner each week, I thought it'd be useful to share my weekly meal plan here. Whether you're just learning to meal plan and looking for a real-life example of how this works or you're an old pro on the hunt for inspiration, here's a peek at how I'm feeding my family this week.
New to meal planning? Start here.
Monday: Skillet Mac and Cheese and Snap Peas
This skillet macaroni is my ideal Monday night meal. It's quick and comforting, with an easy clean-up. I'm partnering this rich dish with a lemony snap pea salad — my kids love this recipe, sans mint — and using the same salted water to blanch the peas and cook the pasta.
Tuesday: Sweet Potato Fajitas
Admittedly my daughter's specific Tuesday request was tacos, but in an effort to sneak a simple vegetarian dish into our week, I'm making these sheet pan fajitas and calling them sweet potato soft tacos.
Wednesday: Sheet Pan Burgers and Fries
Burgers and fries seem to be the centerpiece of my daughter's meal plan. While ideally I'd grill burgers and make fries from scratch, this sheet pan supper of onion burgers and frozen fries feels like more than a fair compromise for a weekday evening. I even have a batch of freezer fries I can use up.
Ella is a big fan of breakfast for dinner, pancakes, and strawberries and I'm a big fan of any recipe that upgrades the classic. I had the pleasure of recipe testing these cornmeal pancakes and loved them topped with crumbled sausage and drizzled with maple syrup.
Friday: Pizza at Home
Pizza Friday is beloved in our house and this week we are going super classic with one basic cheese pizza and a veggie-topped version that includes my kids' favorite vegetables, like sweet peppers, spinach, and pickled red onions.