Here at our house, we honor dinnertime as a special family gathering. While I hold this value in my heart, I’ve not always felt inspired or organized with what to make for the meal!

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Enter my favorite meal planning tool, Plan to Eat, which makes it easier to plan family dinners.

As Moms, creating this daily mealtime rhythm for our families is one of our most consistent jobs over the years. How do we simplify the process of planning meals? The very best tool I know is the online menu planner, Plan to Eat.

Their motto: “Eating at home should be easier.”

Plan to Eat

I’ve been using this program for almost a year now and I love it. 

How I use Plan to Eat:

  • Recipe File – save recipes from anywhere on the web, type in your own, and share with friends.
  • Meal Planner – drag and drop recipes into certain days, print out and hang on a cabinet in the kitchen for all to see.
  • Grocery List – generate a shopping list from that week’s plan, or shop for weeks at a time.

One of my favorite features is the Freezer Planner. I can double a recipe, prepare it one night, and schedule the second batch for another meal down the road.

Plan to Eat also allows me to put in a note with a recipe to remind me to take the meat out of the freezer the day before. You can also tag recipes for holidays or with special dietary needs and come back to search that another time.

In his book, Simplicity Parenting, Kim John Payne says,

“The rhythms of family life provide consistency; the best ones also offer connection.” 

Family dinners are a time to come back together at the end of the day and reconnect. They give us an anchor point, a time to slow down and check in. Research even shows that the more often families eat together, the more likely it is that children will eat healthy foods and the less likely they will be to smoke, drink, do drugs or suffer from depression. Pretty compelling.

If you want more detail, check out this post for my Super Simple Menu Planning process.

Need some recipe ideas? Check out my favorite resources.

How do you simplify your family dinners?


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