Family Dinners: Creative Solutions for Menu Planning

How do working mothers manage menus and meal planning? Working mom Leslie Kaufman's story (published in no less than the venerable New York Times) shares valuable strategies for feeding the family fast--and well.

We liked the menu planning concept of having four core dishes to save time and please picky palates:

I have four core dishes: meatloaf, pot roast, roast chicken and meatballs. I prepare the most basic, pared-down version of each dish. By now it is reflexive. I could do it in my sleep. Perhaps I have. My basic roast chicken is covered in oil and sprinkled with kosher salt and paprika, and that’s that.

Every week I make at least one of those dishes and leave it in the back of the fridge to do emergency duty, as in: “I am not eating anything stuffed with spinach. That’s disgusting.” And like a great friend, it never fails me in a crisis. It can be reheated as a meal, sliced for sandwiches, diced for a pasta sauce and used with cheese to fill a tortilla or a twice-baked potato.

Mom Puts Family On Her Meal Plan