I’ve had a lot of moms ask me how I juggle meals, menu planning and shopping with four little kids and homeschooling year round.

Cooking and experimenting with various types of foods is a family tradition – my grandma is an amazing cook and so is my mom. Their styles are very different, but, in the end, food for both my mom and grandma was an art-form and cooking a way to love and serve their families.

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The tradition was passed on to me when my mom required my sisters and I to start menu planning and cooking the family meals in middle school.

I enjoyed cooking. I loved baking bread for dinner or trying out new recipes.

But as a mom of 4 children 6 and under, it’s a new season of cooking for me. “Simple is good” is my mantra for most things right now, including meals.

Here’s something I’ve done that works for me.

I’ve made monthly menu plans for each of the four seasons. The meals on the menu “match” the season because, well, I’m like that.

It’s also just practical. I don’t like heating up the oven in the summer, and I want to take advantage of fresh produce.

So here are the “easy” meals  I like for summer. Most of them are quick, and I can make them ahead if it works better in my day to do it that way. Cooking/prepping during naps is often necessary if we’re trying to get outside in the afternoon.

These meals work for us because we’re one of those families who have dairy issues. We use a little cheese, but that’s mostly it for dairy.

I also want to minimize red meats because I don’t have a fitness routine to match the calories yet.

Since I tend to do lower carb on the main meals, you can either incorporate more grains earlier in the day or you can easily make the menu gluten free. We’ve done GF before, and it works well with this menu.

Andrea’s Summer Monthly Menu Plan 2016
Week Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
1 Grilled Tuna Sandwiches (fruit and veggies) Chicken Burgers

(veggie sticks and fruit)

Cold Pasta Salad Bar Chef Salad Turkey Tacos

(refried beans)

Zesty Greek Chicken Parmesan and Lemon Cod (Baked Potato and Green Beans)
2 Rotisserie Chicken

(green beans, wheat rolls)

Chicken Brats

(baked beans, salad)

Barbacoa Beef Burritos

(salad)

Chicken Caesar Salad Thai Ground Turkey Lettuce Wraps

(fruit)

Greek Style Pork Chops

(pita and cucumber salad)

Salmon with Pesto Sauce (wild rice)
3 Sandwiches (chips, veggie sticks, grapes) Turkey Kabobs

(brown rice)

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce (salad) Taco Chicken Salad

(chips)

BBQ Chicken

(baked potato, salad, corn)

Greek Meatballs with Mint Coconut Crusted Talapia

(asparagus and rice)

4 Tuna Salad (grapes) Strawberry, Avocado, Chicken Spinach Salad

(dinner bread)

Indian Chicken Curry

(rice)

Ground Chicken Taco Salad

 

Thai Chicken

(brown rice, salad)

Greek Pasta Salad Baked Fish and Chips

(salad)

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