Meal times. You’ve got to love them. Breakfast, Lunch and the creativity of dinner. What will we eat tonight?

It may seem a little extreme but I have devised a four week dinner plan; a flexible list with a sense of direction. I love it. It isn’t something I tell everyone. It’s a little embarrassing to be so organised. But I tell you, I no longer stand at the fridge staring at my ingredients, waiting for inspiration.

These meals aren’t guaranteed to work every time but at least I have a good shot at having a successful dinner time. Ah, yes, dinner time should be filled with funny conversation and stories about the day but this time is mostly filled with strong encouragement for the kids to finish their dinner. I just can’t seem to change my mind set. There has to be a better way.

There is the consequences approach: “Well, if you don’t finish your dinner, no ice cream or if you jump around while eating you’ll have to clean the floor with your own saliva.”

There is the anything goes dinner time: Food flies everywhere, including out of the mouth while recounting the day’s favourite activity. There are tummy slides through ice cream and everyone talks at once.

There is the ‘Children should be seen but not heard’ version: The children are dressed in their Sunday best, hands are crossed in laps. Mother and father talk in low tones about the highlights of their day while the children pat their mouth with their napkin, listening with intense interest.

Honestly there has to be a better way! Food is glorious (according to the song). Ah, no matter what your dinner time routine is, it is such an important time to connect. Mothers of the world unite and know that no one gets it right! So we may as well sit back, relax and let the good times fly!

Four Week Dinner Plan

Week 1: Beef Stir Fry, Honey Chicken, Fish and Veg, Pasta, Steak and Salad, Adventurous, Pizza.

Week 2: Pork Stir Fry, Fried Rice, Fish Fajitas, Tapas, Roast, Adventurous, Sausages.

Week 3: Chow Mein, Kebabs, Tacos, Steak and noodles, Fish Cakes, Adventurous, Chicken Caesar Salad.

Week 4: Beef Fajitas, Fish and Chips, Risotto, Mini Pies, Satay chicken, Hamburgers, Adventurous.

Note* If you have any awesome kid friendly but tasty recipes to add to this assortment, I would love them!