Make-Ahead Meal Plan for Busy Families

Their Dinner Challenge

Meg and Phillip

By the time Sally picks up her children from day care and school, it's nearly 6 p.m. Since the kids' bedtime routine starts at 7 p.m., that gives her less than an hour to put food on the table. Peter, loves to cook, but he travels frequently for work and usually isn't around to help with weeknight meals. Dinner stresses Sally out.

Like most of us, Sally avoids thinking about what to make until it's time to eat. "I plan dinner about five minutes in advance," she says. By then, of course, it's too late to start a complicated -- heck, even an uncomplicated -- dish. And forget shopping for any missing ingredients. "I can't get organized on Sunday to plan for the week," she says. So Sally ends up serving whatever is in the freezer -- usually frozen chicken nuggets and fish sticks.

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