• The Food Nanny {Gypsy Magpie}

    The Food Nanny

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    I struggle at dinnertime. I find this unbelievably sad because I LIKE TO COOK! So, what’s the struggle then? I usually try to decide what is for dinner when the kids start going nuts and my giant husband starts sobbing like a little girl pleasantly asking me what will be served. They are starving and I usually have no idea what I’m going to put in their belly’s. I’m organized like that. It’s a talent, really.

    I’ve been thinking about my said talent a lot lately. My hubby’s only request (Aaahahahaha! *snort* Well, one of the two requests…) is that there is dinner. He usually doesn’t care what it is, as long as there is something to fill his giant stomach cavity. Note to self: you should have thought about the amount of food a 6’7″ man could consume BEFORE the wedding. A wee bit late now. I digress, back to my talent.

    So, pleasing him (aka speaking his “love language”) should be easy, right?

    All you have to do is make dinner stupid!

    If only it was that simple. If only everything you needed was actually in the fridge and you had sufficient time to make that dish of wonderfulness that will silence the ornery chaos around you! Apparently for some people it is! Go figure. Two weeks ago I went to a Relief Society meeting where the special guest was Liz Edmunds aka The Food Nanny. Learn more about her and check out her helpful website HERE. She talked about taking back family dinnertime, getting away from expensive/unhealthy fast food, and shared her passion for meal planning. (To each her own, I guess!)

    Basically, she makes a 2 week plan with each night of the week having a theme. Monday is say pizza night, Tuesday is Mexican night, Wednesday is comfort food, and so on. She then sits down and plans out what to eat each of those nights, say chicken tacos for Tuesday and lasagna for Wednesday, then makes up her shopping list. Everything she needs for those two weeks (except perishables like milk, eggs, bread, etc.) are there ready to go and she literally KNOWS what is for dinner. Aaaaaahhhh, I’m starting to catch on.

    I bought her book and started studying and thinking about what would not only work for my family, but what would work for me. Since I like spontaneously having something unexpected, I have been a little scared, but then I realized that the beauty of the plan is that the theme gives me choices. I can make anything I want in that theme. And, if we decide to go out because the little dude’s soccer game goes late, then, I have all the stuff there for another day. It works. The Food Nanny does the same plan for both of the weeks, but for my quirkiness …ahem…talent, I have decided to add a dash of variety so I don’t feel trapped, as I’m bound to do.

    Here is my theme plan for the next two weeks.

    Week 1:

    • Monday- Breakfast for Dinner
    • Tuesday- Comfort Food
    • Wednesday- Fish/Meatless
    • Thursday- Mexican
    • Friday- Kids Choice
    • Saturday- Grill
    • Sunday- Family Traditions

    Week 2:

    • Monday- Pizza
    • Tuesday- Soup or Salad
    • Wednesday- Italian
    • Thursday- Asian
    • Friday- DATE NIGHT!
    • Saturday- Grill
    • Sunday- Family Traditions

    Let’s be perfectly up front here, I may not stick with this. It might just be a little too structured for me. But hey, you can do anything for 2 weeks, right? So, here goes, one day down and 13 to go.

    If you have any meal planning ideas, great recipes, encouragement, or thoughts, please help a girl out.

    The lives of 4 hungry children and a jolly green giant are at risk.

    Feed the children, people!


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  • Jen R.
    9 May 2011

    My problem with the meal plan was that I often didn’t feel like eating/cooking what was on the calendar for that day. So Ive altered meal planning to simply be a list of meals equaling two weeks that I want to cook. Then I can just choose off that list instead of having to “follow the schedule.” Works for me!

  • Leslie Moon Face
    10 May 2011

    want to feed a 6’4″ guy while you’re at it? He’d love to not have to cook for himself or eat pasta! ;)

  • Missy
    15 May 2011

    Jen- Great idea! That is probably what this will boil down to.
    Les- I remember a bbq purchase for your wedding…

  • Krista Neil
    29 February 2012

    I did something like this, and ya I got bored of it, and I like all that structure mumbo-jumbo, so that’s a bad sign. I now do e-mealz, it’s $15 for 3 months, and there are different weekly menus she puts out, with the shopping list to go with it (super helpful), if there’s a meal on there I know won’t fly, I modify, or do something I know they’ll like. I thought like you, it’s worth a shot, and it’s worked pretty good.