I actually posted this in your breakfast thread, but it's really helped me and maybe others will find it a good idea.
I cook a TON. With the allergies and things I can't eat I just have to, but for a while I was really getting annoyed by it, not knowing whta to make, what the kids want etc.
I got this really cute diner board, that is like a dry erase but with neon markers. Every night we make it up for the next day. I talk to the kids about what they want for breakfast and they make SO much better choices! They always end up loving and eating it because they planned it. And I can prepare things at night or first thing and easy breezy.
I write down breakfast, and dinner, and since they seem to be hungry at different times which I'm ok with, I write down lunch "options" and snack "options". Like today, I have this pasta they love with broccoli, chicken and peas and a creamy lemon sauce. I have one other pasta, fruit sticks (skewered fruit). So here's what our board says:
Breakfast - Joe - sausage patty, egg boats (hard boiled,cut in half sprinkled with salt and a little pickle stuck in for a sale LOL) sourdough, yogurt
Sarah - sourdough toasts and tzatziki
Lunch - options:
favorite pasta (their name for it, the creamy saucek, chicken, broccoli, peas)
butterfly pasta dish
grilled cheese (i use this really good sharp cheddar and sourdough)
paninis(basically same thing but grilled dif and they like choices)
chicken soup (in the freezer, small portions)
snack options: fruit skewers
smoothies (usually i pick 2 kinds, i give them fun names)
ham rolls (i get some really good deli type ham)
oatmeal chewies (a homemade meal type bar)
Dinner: At grammas!! Please call her at your leisure and coordinate dinner plans. SHe would like to know what you want for dinner. And this doubles as reading. Leesure and coordinate will be hard words for DS, and I will help him, then he will ask me what one of them mean probably, so he will get to look it up in the dictionary and tell me (he likes doing this...or on the internet)
Usually I pick the main dish for dinner, or they tell me some ideas for the week and i decide when based on schedules.
This not only makes it fun and gives everyone an option and involvement, but it really keeps ME accountable. It has happened where I had to mess up their plans with lack of motivation and let me tell you i heard about it
. But mom, it's on the boooooaaaaard!!!! I had to make big banana splits for dessert to make up for it
Oh and i don't use TOO many options, because they will say "hey, that was an option for yesterday, or 3 times this week, etc" LOL little fuss butts