D$mn it, I hate meal planning

Meal planning has been a “goal” for 3 years.  Yes, ever since I had my third child I’ve been enraptured by the thought of meal-planning.  It’s magic.  To me, it’s a beautiful place where one sits with a calendar, some coupons, Pinterest, and viola—the weeks’ meals are ready!!!!


Enter my truth.  My truth is:  Did we have mac and cheese and frozen chicken nuggets already this week?    Ok, so tonight I’ll serve watermelon instead of applesauce with it.  And, yes, I have been known to serve dinner in the bathtub, on occasion.





I have had moments of clarity and a semblance of a meal plan before.  Maternity leave with my first and my second included some completely home-cooked meals.  And I made shopping lists BEFORE going out to the store with the newborn.  That was bleary-eyed, non-working-mama bliss.


Photo by Fabian Møller on Unsplash


When I got back to work after my daughter was born, I set my mission.  I interviewed moms.  These interviewees included an organized math teacher who talked about meal-planning in PASSING.  And meal-planning wasn’t even a THING to my neighbor!  She meal-planned before VACATION.  How is that possible?  In between packing for 3 children she planned and prepped 3 meals to switch off with her vacation buddy.  Unbelievable.



After my interviews, I decided to stop feeling bad for myself and my lack of skills.  In fact, I did something crazy.  I got help.  Yes, I PAID for meal-planning.  Blue Apron and Sun Basket are two meal-delivery services I’ve used in the past, but I didn’t want prepped food delivered.  I wanted to shop, meal prep,  and learn in the process.  I wanted roast chicken burritos one night to become chicken salad sandwiches another.  I wanted easy to follow directions.  And guess what, I found just that!!! Laura Fuentes of Momables!  For $39 I received a month of meal maps (genius, so kids can see what’s next), a meal guide—prep work broken down to 1 hour a night for 3 meals a day, plus snacks, as well as grocery lists!!!


If you’re an ADHD parent who would love your children to EAT REAL FOOD and nourish their brains with more protein, high-quality fats and less sugar, then go to Laura’s site and check her out.  If you’re not ready to commit to a meal plan package her youtube videos are free and high-value.  I make her pumpkin oatmeal breakfast cookies all the time!


I’m also enjoying meal-prep with my eldest son since he’s now home-schooled.  He has time to help in the afternoons.  The prep directions are so simple, he may be able to start on his own, soon!



If you’re stressed about back to school lunches (I have two lunches a day to prepare right now) then check out Momables.  With ADHD, we must be aware of our strengths and not feel ashamed of our weaknesses.  There’s always a balance and whatever gives your family more relaxed time together, less stress and higher quality nutrition is a win!  I hope your family is re-adjusting to school schedules and routines.


Let me know if and how you meal plan in the comments.

Published by Family ADDventures

Nicole Santiago is a learning specialist, student advocate, and founder of Family ADDventures. As a specialist, she assesses and teaches clients (adults and adolescents) to manage and grow their executive functioning skills which include emotional regulation, task initiation, and time management. As an advocate (IEP coach), she is a member of COPAA and ensures inclusive (special) education students receive the most appropriate educational services possible. She often collaborates with OT's, SLP's and neuropsychologists all in the name of student improvement and success. Her practice is located in San Antonio, TX, and everywhere (virtually). The author grew up an army brat and spends time with her three ND children and husband in Puerto Rico whenever possible. She writes about mental health, parenting, education, and entrepreneurship on her blog: FamilyADDventures.com

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