The 5 Commandments of Planning Ahead
1. Take 15 minutes on weekends to map out the week's meals.
2. Create two or three weekly dinner menus and then rotate so you don't get bored.
3. Organize grocery shopping so there is always something in the house.
4. Prepare as many meal elements as possible in advance over the weekend (chop and bag veggies, make rice, stir together spice mixtures or sauces). Buy pre-prepped or frozen fruits and vegetables.
5. Start preheating the oven as soon as you walk in the door on those nights when you'll be needing it to prepare your meal.
Originally published in the September 2011 issue of Parents magazine.