What’s For Dinner? My Quest to Bring Joy Back to the Table

dinner post tbm

Not long ago my children and I met some new friends at the park. As moms getting to know one another typically do, we shared about where we grew up, how we handled the challenges of parenting, what was making us laugh, and little quirks about our kids. As we sat on the bench chatting, my new friend leaned in and with a look of severity said, “I’m sure you can relate to the one thing that I’m really struggling with: my children need to eat. . . . like multiple times every day.” Be still my heart. We had only known each other for such a short time, how was she able to see into my soul?

All jesting aside, there are times when my desire to nourish my family with healthy, hearty and beautiful meals can be really overwhelming. In seasons of welcoming a new baby or caring for an aging relative, moving or just getting up to speed with a change in the school schedule, meal planning  can feel nearly impossible. As my children have grown older, I have come to realize that there really is no slowing down, there will always be a transition that I must weather well, a crises to avert, a difficulty to overcome- or even just busy seasons with activities to navigate.

There will always be challenges, and yet my desire to light candles, to love on and to connect with the members of my family is unchanging. The most important thing we can bring to the table is a heart for fellowship with one another!

Sitting at the table is one of my favorite times of our day as a family, but often the planning required to get there zaps my joy. I have tried exactly one million and one ways to meal plan and while there have been seasons I have accomplished this task quite well, it mostly just drains me and I am left  with questions about how to make meals fit all the needs of our family. When should we have leftovers? Should I have made a double batch of that? Are we eating too many calories? Is there an easier way to do this? 

This summer, after an extended period of kitchen blahs, I was determined to bring JOY back to my dinner table. I knew I needed a plan. Without a meal plan, our time at the table falls apart and we end up eating pancakes or scrambled eggs. True story. So, exhausted from travel, lacking inspiration and facing an empty fridge, I decided to start by printing off  the Better Mom Whole Food Meal Plan. After a few months of seeing it make a big difference in our home, I wanted to share how it has impacted my family with you, because I know I am not the only woman out there who has no idea how to answer when the kids ask, “Mom, what’s for dinner?”

If you feel unorganized like I did and don’t know where to begin, if you long to be able to focus on relationships instead of logistics, can I encourage you to give this meal plan a try? There is a sweet offering of grace in this meal ministry and I want to shout it from the rooftops because it has anchored our family to having sweet time together at a time when it seemed like being overwhelmed might just win.

Kelly from The Nourishing Home has put together an absolutely beautiful and entirely FREE meal plan for The Better Mom Readers. Really, absolutely, for always and forever FREE!  She has links to all the recipes used for breakfast, lunch and dinner, a pdf shopping list for the week and most of all- a heart for moms. This ministry has freed me to love on my family and not get lost in the logistics of the kitchen. It is practical and so very valuable!

-Every recipe is made with whole food, with gluten free and paleo options.

-Each menu plan utilizes leftovers, and indicates time saving measures for meal preparation (like grilling up extra chicken at dinner time to use in tomorrow’s salad).

-Careful thought about balancing out your plate with flavor, color and nutrition abounds in these meal plans!

-Every other Saturday the menus, with full recipe links are posted at The Better Mom. These are absolutely complete and absolutely FREE!

-Subscribers to The Nourishing Home (Also a free service!) additionally receive shopping lists and other recipe extras.

The next Bi-weekly meal plan will be available at The Better Mom tomorrow! I hope it is a practical encouragement to you and that your coming week is filled with yummy food and precious time with your family!

Blessings,

Kristen

www.hopewithfeathers.com

Bi-Weekly Whole Food Meal Plan for Sept 14–27

Almost-Oatmeal-Cookies-grain-free

This week’s meal plan features one of my family’s favorite sweet treats! Unsweetened shredded coconut is the secret behind the chewy texture of these grain-free “Almost Oatmeal Cookies,” which is reminiscent of the oatmeal cookies many of us grew up enjoying.

Welcome to The Better Mom Whole Food GF Meal Plan. Our free bi-weekly menus open into a convenient pdf that includes links to each of the gluten-free recipes featured making it easy to access them with just a simple click. 

Once you click on the graphics below, you can easily save these menus to your desktop for easy access anytime you need them. Then, simply click on the links within the meal plan pdf to gain instant access to the gluten-free recipes.

In addition, if you opt to subscribe to The Nourishing Home, you’ll receive The Nourishing Home Weekly Newsletter which includes a complete gluten-free, grain-free meal planning kit. Each week’s GF Meal Plan Kit contains a gluten-free, grain-free meal plan along with a Weekly Shopping List and a Prep Day Chart featuring helpful tips that make putting healthy meals together a snap. For details about the free Gluten-Free Meal Plan Kit for subscribers only, please visit The Nourishing Home.

Bi-Weekly Whole Food Meal Plan for Sept 14-20:
(To print the meal plan provided below, simply click on the graphic or click here and it will open a pdf into a new window for easier saving and printing. Remember, once you download the pdf, simply click on the links to gain instant access to the recipes featured.)
Sept 14-20 Meal Plan TNH

Bi-Weekly Whole Food Meal Plan for Sept 21-27:
(To print the meal plan provided below, simply click on the graphic or click here and it will open a pdf into a new window for easier saving and printing. Remember, once you download the pdf, simply click on the links to gain instant access to the recipes featured.)
Sept 21-17 Meal Plan TNH

In addition to the two meal plans above, we’re pleased to provide you with a free meal planning template perfect for creating your own custom meal plans. Select from the following two options:
• Meal plan template PDF

• Meal plan template EXCEL

To learn more about meal planning, please check out my FREE Video Course: Mastering Meal PlanningMy hope is that this will be a great resource
 and encouragement for you whether you’re just getting started with meal planning, or are a seasoned expert.

Always a treat to share healthy meals with you! Let’s give thanks to the Lord for providing us the opportunity to nourish our families in this way!

Joyfully Serving HIM, Kelly at The Nourishing Home

Bi-Weekly Whole Food Meal Plan for Aug 31–Sept 13

Banana Pancake Buddies

Whether it’s puppy ears, bunny ears or those famous mouse ears, there’s something magical about pancakes that look like favorite little friends.  This delicious GF Banana Pancake Buddies recipe allows you to make pancakes in any shape you’d like, and enables your family members to create funny faces for some extra special breakfast time FUN!

Welcome to the new Whole Food Meal Plan format that makes it easier than ever to click-over to the recipes featured. That’s because, our new meal plan graphic opens into a convenient pdf that includes hyperlinks to each of the recipes.

Once opened, you can easily save this menu to your desktop for easy access anytime you need it. Then, simply click on the links within the meal planning pdf to gain instant access to the recipes featured.

In addition to our free weekly whole food meal plans, if you opt in as a subscriber to The Nourishing Home you’ll receive The Nourishing Home Weekly Newsletter which includes a  …

  • New Weekly Shopping List outlining all of the ingredients needed to make each dinner featured; as well as an awesome new
  • Prep Day Chart featuring helpful tips and recommendations for prep-ahead tasks that make putting meals together a snap during busy weeknights.

For details about the free meal plan extras for subscribers only, please visit The Nourishing Home.

Bi-Weekly Whole Food Meal Plan for Aug 31–Sept 6:
(To print the meal plan provided below, simply click on the graphic or click here and it will open a pdf into a new window for easier saving and printing. Remember, once you download the pdf, simply click on the links to gain instant access to the recipes featured.)
Aug 31-Sept 6 Meal Plan TNH TBM

Bi-Weekly Whole Food Meal Plan for Sept 7–13:
(To print the meal plan provided below, simply click on the graphic or click here and it will open a pdf into a new window for easier saving and printing. Remember, once you download the pdf, simply click on the links to gain instant access to the recipes featured.)
Sept 7­-13 Meal Plan TNH

In addition to the two meal plans above, we’re pleased to provide you with a free meal planning template perfect for creating your own custom meal plans. Select from the following two options:
• Meal plan template PDF

• Meal plan template EXCEL

To learn more about meal planning, please check out my FREE Video Course: Mastering Meal PlanningMy hope is that this will be a great resource
 and encouragement for you whether you’re just getting started with meal planning, or are a seasoned expert.

Always a treat to share healthy meals with you! Let’s give thanks to the Lord for providing us the opportunity to nourish our families in this way!

Joyfully Serving HIM, Kelly at The Nourishing Home

Bi-Weekly Whole Food Meal Plan for August 17–30

Chimichurri-Sauce-Kebobs

Quick & Easy NO-OVEN DINNERS: On hot summer days, the last thing most of us want to do is turn on the oven. That’s why this week’s meal plan features some of our favorite grilled and stove-top-only dinner recipes perfect for those hot days of summer!

Welcome to the new Whole Food Meal Plan format that makes it easier than ever to click-over to the recipes featured. That’s because, our new meal plan graphic opens into a convenient pdf that includes hyperlinks to each of the recipes.

Once opened, you can easily save this menu to your desktop for easy access anytime you need it. Then, simply click on the links within the meal planning pdf to gain instant access to the recipes featured.

In addition to our free weekly whole food meal plans, if you opt in as a subscriber to The Nourishing Home you’ll receive The Nourishing Home Weekly Newsletter which includes a  …

  • New Weekly Shopping List outlining all of the ingredients needed to make each dinner featured; as well as an awesome new
  • Prep Day Chart featuring helpful tips and recommendations for prep-ahead tasks that make putting meals together a snap during busy weeknights.

For details about the free meal plan extras for subscribers only, please visit The Nourishing Home.

Bi-Weekly Whole Food Meal Plan for August 17-23:
(To print the meal plan provided below, simply click on the graphic or click here and it will open a pdf into a new window for easier saving and printing. Remember, once you download the pdf, simply click on the links to gain instant access to the recipes featured.)
Aug 17-23 Meal Plan

Bi-Weekly Whole Food Meal Plan for August 24-30:
(To print the meal plan provided below, simply click on the graphic or click here and it will open a pdf into a new window for easier saving and printing. Remember, once you download the pdf, simply click on the links to gain instant access to the recipes featured.)
Aug24-30 Meal Plan TNH

In addition to the two meal plans above, we’re pleased to provide you with a free meal planning template perfect for creating your own custom meal plans. Select from the following two options:
• Meal plan template PDF

• Meal plan template EXCEL

To learn more about meal planning, please check out my FREE Video Course: Mastering Meal PlanningMy hope is that this will be a great resource
 and encouragement for you whether you’re just getting started with meal planning, or are a seasoned expert.

Always a treat to share healthy meals with you! Let’s give thanks to the Lord for providing us the opportunity to nourish our families in this way!

Joyfully Serving HIM, Kelly at The Nourishing Home

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