The hardest thing for me when it comes to planning out meals is finding new meals to try and keeping them organized. There is no shortage of recipes out there, but the problem for me is they are everywhere - on Pinterest, on blogs, in magazines, in cookbooks, in catalogs/mailers. Recipes are online and offline, so there is no one place for it all and then when I'm at the store, I have a hard time remembering where I had found the recipe I want to make in the first place! So, I typically stick to the few really easy recipes I know by heart and that I know my kids will eat - but inside I'm so bored.
I also want to make sure I'm giving my kids variety, yet keep the option healthy. My kiddos are super picky eaters - so getting them more involved in the planning process seems to help. I just need to do it more! “Everyone in the family can learn new healthy behaviors together. Start with one goal to work on together and support each other throughout the process.” advices Meredith Dreyer-Gillette, PhD, Developmental & Behavioral Sciences at Children's Mercy Hospital.
I'm going to focus on including my kids in the dinner planning process - and planning ahead! Kids who eat regularly with their families are less likely to snack on unhealthy foods and more likely to eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. I think it's super important for parents to model good eating behavior - so that's one motivating reason to eat your veggies. :) You can find more info on why family meals are so important here.
To help me keep organized, and sort through all the recipe options on and off line - I also use a binder and clear sheet protectors to print off the recipes that I try from my Pinterest board that I really like (and want to make again!), or to tear out magazine pages of recipes. This way, I don't always have to be online and I can also get rid of old magazines while retaining recipes that I like.