Meal Prep Cookbook For Dummies
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When you’re ready to create your own menu plans, start small and plan 14 days’ worth of meals. After you get the hang of menu planning, you can plan more weeks at once.

To start, call a family meeting. When everyone is settled in, pass out notebooks and pencils. Explain the goal — to plan menus as a family for the next two weeks, taking schedules and food likes and dislikes into account.

Next, establish a dinnertime. To determine a time that works best for everyone, give each person a blank two-week grid. Fill in your family’s social, school, church, and other activities (and their times and duration) on the grid.

Now it’s on to food preferences. Allow each person to state two or three dislikes, with the stipulation that the dislikes can’t be all of anything. Instead, make your kids (or spouse) pick the worst of the offending category. You can’t rule out all vegetables, but you can rule out a vegetable that no one likes. After everyone has written down their dislikes, call for a vote. Majority rules.

Now it’s time to choose what you will eat. Decide what entree (beef, pork, chicken, lamb, no-meat, and so on) you’ll have for each of the 14 days. Write those on your master grid.

Then round out each meal with foods to go with the main course. Those dishes may require recipes, or they may be as simple as a salad you have to assemble or a vegetable that requires microwaving.

After you’ve planned each meal, find a recipe for each entree and side dish. Now the only things left to do are to shop for any ingredients you don’t have on hand, prepare each night’s meal, and enjoy it with your family.

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