Maybe it’s because the new year has begun.
Maybe my Pinterest feed is subconsciously feeding me meal planning pins.
Maybe I’m just bored.
Maybe I’m obsessed with food.
Probably all of the above. Whatever the cause, I have been super interested in organizing my recipes and trying to simplify and streamline the way I prepare food these days.
I have been a meal-planner for years now. I enjoy knowing what I’m going to make, being able to plan my grocery shopping, and doing my best to plan around my family’s activities. And I have gotten much better at it.
For the last several years, I have been using my ink and volt planner to meal plan. I keep it pretty simple and just write down what we are going to have for dinner. (Breakfast is the hubby’s domain, and lunches during the week are fend-for-yourself and on the weekends it’s leftovers or out of the freezer.) On a whim, I decided to pull out my 2018 planner and figure out what we ate in 2018. I have all these printed recipes, but which ones did we actually use? And how often did I just make pasta and vegetables–no recipe needed?
So I went through my 2018 planner and wrote down every dinner that I planned in 2018. I had 179 entries. Here are the top 12 most frequently planned.
I was completely shocked to see that pizza was our most frequently planned dinner. Pizza?? Really?? This is a little embarrassing. I wish I could argue that on all those nights that I didn’t plan a meal we were having super healthy salads or lots of other healthy, homemade meals. I can’t. Those nights were more likely leftovers, takeout, dining out, or when we were away on vacation.
But seeing this list made me really think. I obviously didn’t plan every meal of 2018. Fair enough–I did have a baby. I was a little busy and not always using my planner. Babies are not super plannable. But I was more likely to use my planner during the weeks that my husband was traveling for work! And when he was traveling for work and I was juggling two kids, I kept our menu easy. Like, frozen pizza, veggie burgers, and mac and cheese. Realizing this helps me feel a little less guilty about pizza being my most planned dinner. But it’s still not awesome.
All of this feeds into a greater discussion about what we eat, not just in my house, but in all American houses. The rise of delivered meal kits and fast casual food and pre-made sushi in my grocery store tells me that we don’t have time for real food anymore. We want to eat good food, but none of us has the time (or makes the time) to cook it on a regular basis. And I, currently a SAHM, am just as guilty. I don’t want my kids to grow up and fondly remember mom serving frozen pizza. I mean, I guess if they remember sitting around the table and eating together, that’s still a win. But I want them to remember good food, too. And I want them to eat good food, expect good food for themselves, and learn to cook good food for themselves.
I also want them to know that the occasional frozen pizza is ok, too.
So here’s hoping that my 2019 pie chart will look a little different.
See the complete list of what we ate in 2018