Reply To: Meal Planning


Hi! I don’t have ADHD, but I HATE meal planning and cooking and am responsible for it in our house too, as the parent who is home more, so I figured I’d chime in!

I didn’t really start cooking until my son was 18 months, and I eased myself into it slowly. I look for recipes with the word “easy” in it, and go from there! I still count on having one or two meals a week that are still pretty much just thrown together, but at least healthier, like spaghetti with a jarred sauce and bagged salad. I don’t assign meals to a particular day of the week, that way if I’m on the ball, I choose to make a more complicated one, and if it’s a messy day, I make the one with the least prep required!

If it helps, here’s the process I do every week:

1. Write out the list of 6 meals I want to make (I factor in one day of leftovers.) I use a lot of websites to find easy recipes. In addition to having an easy thrown-together option, I also try to have one meal that can be in the freezer, so it lasts till the end of the week. I like frozen shrimp and frozen edamame for a good end of week meal, and make rice to go with it.

2. Write down the list of ingredients I need that we don’t already have.

3. If you have a grocery store with online ordering, it’s been a lifesaver for me! I don’t have to organize my list by dairy, fruits, etc., I just type in each thing randomly and add it to the online cart. My grocery store remembers my ‘favorites’ and has a list of things I need every week like bread, apples, eggs, milk, butter etc. But if it didn’t, I would make a list to keep on the fridge of the things you typically need every week, to make your weekly job easier.

4. Get groceries (easy peasy with online ordering. I pay $3 to just drive up and have them load the bags, and it’s worth every penny.)

5. Put the meal list on the fridge, so I remember my overall plan. Then see how each day goes and make whatever fits with how hectic that day is.

6. Work with your kids’ ability to eat the same thing over and over, and keep your tried and true recipes in the rotation. I make a lot of the same things over and over, but at least they’re hitting all the major food groups and no one complains! I occasionally add in something new, but mostly stick to familiar recipes. Once you get in a groove, it helps a lot! You’ll get faster and faster at making your few “specialities”! Good luck!