Make-Ahead Meal Plan for Busy Families

Our Solution

Sally cooks with her kids

Heather Weston

Parents enlisted Jenna Helwig, a mom and dinner coach, to draw up a weekly menu to help Sally prepare tasty, healthy meals for her family in less than half an hour.

The Results "We haven't bought another box of fish sticks since Jenna was here!" Sally says. Using Helwig's menu as a jumping-off point, she's planning the week's meals on Sunday and preparing food in advance. "I no longer feel as panicked about getting dinner on the table," Sally says.

Preparation isn't as much of a chore as Sally thought it would be. And, even better, her family is not relying on over-processed, out-of-the-box food. "We're eating much more of a variety at every meal," says Sally. Recent dinners have included turkey meatballs, stir-fry with vegetables, fried rice, and quesadillas

And what about the kids? They've adjusted -- and are even warming up to the new dinner routine. "The truth is, if my kids don't see chicken nuggets in front of them, they're going to say they don't want to eat whatever I'm serving," explains Sally. "Once we sit down and start eating, though, they're fine. I made a stir-fry the other night, and they both asked for seconds."

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