There’s a meme that says something like ” nobody told me being an adult meant having to figure out what’s for dinner every night for the rest of your life.” It’s true. Meal planning and prep doesn’t have to be a drudge. Here are some tips to help make meals more fun.

Cooked food in close up photography

Choose a theme

Think of ways to make mealtime more imaginable. Consider all the different types of cuisines from around the world. Now, incorporate those into your meal planning. Try a Mexico Monday or maybe think Mediterranean with a Falafel Friday. Who wouldn’t love a Wednesday Wine and Italian menu? This recipe for chicken Florentine may be just the thing. A Southwestern Saturday could have a meal that incorporates grilled Nopales (cactus). The more interesting the menu, the more your family will love it.

Choosing themes for meals will give you the incentive to cook different foods and to stretch your culinary ability. Try recipes the kids can help with to involve the entire family. 

Don’t be afraid to try new flavors

If you are typically not an adventurous eater; try to stretch your comfort zone. There is a world of flavor that you may just enjoy. If you’re opposed to seafood because you’ve eaten things before you don’t like; try a different type of fish. It’s possible that the preparation of the food you disliked was the problem. Consider meals you’ve not enjoyed and think of ways to improve upon them. 

Are you adverse to Chinese food? Do some research on lots of different Asian inspired meals. Find ways to change up the recipe a bit and see if it might make a more enjoyable experience. Try changing Italian sausage in place of ground beef in your spaghetti recipe. When you make chili next time, try adding Chorizo sausage to your ground beef. the point is to explore new flavors and tastes to keep your family interested in the same old meals.

Avoid frustration

When preparing to cook your meals, you can avoid frustration by organizing beforehand. Be sure you have all ingredients needed before you start the meal. If you’re using a recipe, measure out all of the ingredients ahead of time. That way you know you have everything you need. Plus you can simply add each ingredient that the recipe calls for without stopping to measure. It makes cooking meals so much easier and with much less frustration.

Invite friends

Having friends over for a dinner party can cause a lot of anxiety even if you’re looking forward to it. Decide if you want to have a party where your friends participate in the preparation. A food bar is the best way to do this. A taco bar is great for allowing friends to prepare their meal as they’d like. Have a variety of meats like grilled chicken, ground beef, and pulled pork. Have your warmed flour and corn tortillas ready to be filled. Include toppings like cilantro, lime, and onion for street style tacos. A selection of shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and shredded cheese are also must haves. Guacamole, sliced avocados, and sour cream are also great for a taco bar. Have chips and av variety of salsas to round out the bar.

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