Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Ask for Help with Dinner

I don't know about you, but it is daunting to come up with delicious dinners every night.  It's a lot of extra decisions to cook dinner most nights that your family will enjoy.  It requires grocery shopping, organizing, planning, prepping and preparing and some times that feels like too much work.  We grab dinner out (Door Dash or take out on the weekends) and then I cook most nights.

We started something new in February with our dinner routine and I have loved it so much!

I started asking for help with dinner.

I assigned each person a week and when it is their week, they help me come up with the dinner menu.  We look in the freezer, fridge and pantry to help come up with the menu and then I add new items needed to the grocery list for the week.  So far each person has loved helping me with the menu.  They haven't always loved being my kitchen helper for the week, but I kind of expected that.  When it is their week, they are in charge of setting and helping clear the table, getting drinks, helping me with dishes and helping prepare dinner.  I don't think anyone would call those fun jobs.  They're just absolutely necessary life skills.

My formula is super simple.  

Print out a free monthly calendar online.  Assign each person a week.  Pick a day to work on the menu for the week.  Pencil in dinners & maybe even a special treat for the week.  Penciling everything in allows for you to make changes as things come up during the week.  Shop and prepare like you usually do and ask your kitchen helper for a little extra help on their week.  I hung our menu on the week and the whole family is paying attention to dinner.  They're noticing and getting excited to put their favorite meals on the menu. We have had good conversations about seasonally appropriate foods, not having ground beef every night and meals that would work best for busy nights.

Chicken Quesadillas

Homemade Hibachi

White Chicken Chili

It has been so nice to have extra help in the kitchen!  I have enjoyed this routine and will continue it in the months to come.

How do you do your weekly menu planning?  Would my routine work for your family?


  1. This is just another reason why you are truly AMAZING. Your kids are learning so much AND getting to spend special time with you! I started the year off strong in the meal planning department- and the last few weeks I have fizzled. Ha! With our evening activities- this routine wouldn’t work great for us- but- my kids are at the point that if I tell them what’s for dinner and that I need them to make a part of it- they can and will! That’s super helpful when I am out dropping off or picking someone up!


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