meal planning ideas for family (1)What’s for dinner?


Gotta be one of my least favorite questions, period. How about you?

On any given day, I don’t know what’s for dinner… Even if I have a plan and it’s written down somewhere… I don’t remember it!

That is, until I started using the meal theme ideas in my weekly planning.

What are meal themes?

You’ve probably heard of taco Tuesday’s, right? But you can extend this out to cover a whole week.

(Note – they don’t HAVE to start with the same letter… just sayin’)

Meal Theme Ideas

I don’t want to dictate your meal themes to you (if you don’t want to, you don’t have to have meat-free Monday and Taco Tuesday!), so here are some ideas that you can use and adapt to create your own meal schedule that works for you!

One last note, I love having more than one week at a time… because sometimes Taco Tuesday gets old and you need a bit more variety.


StirfryBreakfast for DinnerAsian
SushiTacosSheet-pan dinner
Slow CookerItalianInstant Pot
SandwichAmericanMeal Out!


Here’s an example of how you might create your schedule:

meal planning ideas for family (2)

Make It Your Own

Maybe you don’t eat seafood. Maybe you have a deep distrust of trendy diets and wouldn’t eat something labeled ‘keto’ or ‘paleo’ if your life depended on it. No worries!

You can make up your own.

Some ideas for you:

  • Make each day a different type of meat, for example: chicken, pork, fish, sausages, beef, turkey…
  • Make each day a different style of cooking, for example: BBQ, slow cooker, Instant Pot, cut salad night, roast, stirfry, poach, sheet pan…
  • Make each day a different ‘international’ dish, for example: Italian, Indian, All American, Thai, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese…
  • Make each day a different type of protein, for example: eggs, lentils, beans, chickpeas, meat, paneer/cheese…

The Most Important Day To Add to Your Week

A ‘whatever’s-in-the-fridge’ day!

When you’re buying groceries to make certain recipes you’ll probably end up with a few extra vegetables here and there that you might not have a plan for.

For me, that often meant vegetables wasted.

Change that!

Now I allocate one day a week (usually the day of or the day before I go shopping) to be a mix up day of whatever’s left in the fridge to use it up.

Some ideas for your ‘whatever’s-in-the-fridge’ day:

  • Roasted balsamic vegetables with chickpeas and quinoa/rice/couscous – simply cut whatever vegetables you have left (include an onion and some garlic!), toss them with oil and balsamic vinegar and a bit of seasoning then add to quinoa, rice, or couscous for a quick healthy meal. Add chickpeas, leftover sliced meat, nuts, or seeds for protein!
  • Vege Chili – finely dice vegetables and fry with chili spices (cumin, cayenne pepper, coriander). Add a can or two of tomatoes, and a can of red kidney beans. If you have a small amount of ground beef you could add this too – or just add a can of lentils!
  • Soup – finely dice your vegetables and add to a litre of stock (make it with a stock cube!). Don’t forget to add a can of tomatoes and beans for extra nutrition.
  • Pizza – make a simple bread dough and roll it thin (you don’t really even need yeast, just make a simple flatbread). Add tomato paste, any veges you’ve got (sliced thin) and top with cheese. Yum!

How’s that working out for you?

Did this give you ideas? Feel free to change things up to suit your family and the season! I’d love to hear how it works for you.