Morning time is the craziest time of day in our home, like most homes with young children, I assume. For a while, I was struggling with too much chaos in the mornings at our home–rushing to get breakfasts, lunches, and snacks ready, trying to squeeze in a morning workout, AND getting the the kids out the door without LOSING MY MIND. Oh…and shower. 🙂 I actually came back from the bus stop one morning and realized my shirt was on inside out. WTH?
A couple of months ago, I took some time to think about our ‘pain points’ in the mornings. Truth be told–I am the one that gets a little crazy when I have too many decisions to make and that’s really why I’ve always been a fan of systems and processes. And…when I’m crazy, that quickly transfers and escalates to the kiddos. SOOO…I realized I was forcing myself to make TOO MANY DECISIONS each morning.
Most days, I pack a lunch for my 1st grader (in her PlanetBox that I reviewed here!), a snack for her and her little brother, make breakfast, fix lunch for the brother as soon as he gets home from pre-K, have an afternoon snack for them both and THEN dinner. I had coffee with 2 great friends and one revealed to me that she serves up the same breakfasts each week. GENIUS! It hit me that dinnertime at our house is only nutz on the days I don’t plan, so why the heck wasn’t I planning out all these other little meal decisions? So…I did it! I came up with a set schedule for breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. Here’s the really fancy version:
AND..it worked! I’ve been doing this weekly for several months and I love not having to THINK about any of this. The kids ask me 1000 times a day what’s for breakfast, what’s for lunch, and what’s for snack?? All I have to do is look up at the chart. I am in LOVE! And, I use this pretty flexibly, too. If we run out of something, I’ll just look a day ahead or behind and pick something we have.
Here’s why it’s so great:
- It saves massive amounts of brainpower. Count up all those decisions that you’re making when you don’t use something like this. When we talk about the overwhelm and craziness of motherhood, we must acknowledge that most of it comes from the sheer volume of decisions that we’re making on any given day. Cut down the number of those decisions and you’ll certainly cut down on your overwhelm.
- Your grocery list for 75% of the food that you’ll be serving is basically done. And, if you’re automating your grocery shopping by using Amazon Fresh or Kroger ClickList, you can easily go back to a previous order and duplicate it.
- With regard to kiddos, being able to fall back on a system is always a great idea to eliminate some of the drama around mealtime. If you get the kids involved in creating this rotation, asking for their input on foods you should include, they will be more on board. And, when they ask (or beg) for something different for lunch, you can either pivot from this rotation and offer it or, stick the system and find a way to work that request in sometime later in the week.
So, where do you start? Let me help. 🙂
PRINTABLE: Want a blank printable (and much cuter!) version of this weekly rotation schedule that you can fill in with your family’s breakfasts, lunches, and snacks? Enter your email address below and I’ll shoot it your way.
RECIPES: Want the recipes for the Fluffy Pancakes, Banana Muffins, and Peanut Butter Banana and Oatmeal bars that are a staple in our home? Check out my Breakfast Pinterest Board.
So, did I leave out any great staples that you use for breakfasts, lunches, and snacks in your home? Post it in the comments–I’m always looking to add more variety to our rotations.
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