Apple Pie and Chia Easy Breakfast Bowls

Here’s the story of how an easy breakfast bowl got this mama her morning groove back.

See, I love implementing systems and rhythms in my family’s days. I know, right!? I only gush about them every chance I can get in this space. But seriously though guys, I Really. Freakin’. Love. Routine.

But hey, guess what? I’m also a human, who screws up, and loses steam, and gets distracted. And my rhythms sometimes fall apart, just like they do with basically everyone else in this world.

I just make sure that when that happens, I stop, reassess, and get back into the fallen rhythm as soon as I possibly can.

Case in point: the wheels have lately begun to come off of our morning routine.

And I needed to do something about it.

My kids are both in school now and everyone in the family has to be out the door by 7:40 am. The first few weeks of the school year I was really nailing our new-to-us morning routine and getting a hot, filling breakfast on the table for everyone.

But things started slowly piling up and one day I found myself wrapping peanut butter toast in paper towels and passing them out as we all rushed out the door. And while I’d never fault that for happening occasionally, it started happening more and more.

My awesome morning routine wasn’t so awesomely routine anymore.  

So when Farmland Fresh sent me a shipment of dairy products and asked to create a recipe for them, I knew exactly what I wanted to do: breakfast.

Preferably a breakfast that was healthy, grab-and-go, and full of natural flavors.

Like an easy breakfast bowl. (Seriously. Really easy.)

Crisp fall mornings go hand in hand with apples, so this Apple Pie and Chia Easy Breakfast Bowl, featuring plain yogurt from Farmland Fresh thickened with chia seeds and topped with warming apple pie flavors,, takes just a few minutes of hands-on work for a great reward.

Guess what!? We’re getting our morning routines on lock in my new 90-day workshop, Uncomplicated Kitchen! Click the banner below to learn more and save your seat!

Plus, these easy breakfast bowls are allllllllmost like having dessert for breakfast.

Like, if you close your eyes real tight and pretend you’re eating real apple pie instead of, you know, a healthy breakfast, you might just believe it.

In any case, easy breakfast bowls are a great option for anyone riding the weekday morning struggle bus (like me lately).

You can mix these apple pie breakfast bowls up the night before and throw ‘em in the fridge, or even make a handful at the start of the week and skip the morning cooking altogether for a few days.  

Because other than a pre-set coffee machine, there’s nothing easier than a premade, easy breakfast bowl that only needed the plastic wrap to come off before digging in. Am I right?

Apple Pie Chia and Yogurt Breakfast Bowls
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 
Make these grab and go breakfast bowls the night before! Chill them in the fridge overnight and then grab and go in the morning. Adding antioxidant-rich chia seed to the yogurt will bulk it up and help you stay fuller for longer.
Servings: 4
Author: Ruthy Kirwan
Ingredients
  • 2 apples
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoon apple pie seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup Farmland Fresh plain yogurt
Instructions
  1. Remove the core from the apples and cut them into small dice.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, then add the apples, apple pie seasoning and brown sugar.
  3. Stir to combine and let cook until the apples have softened and the mixture is starting to break down, about 10 minutes.
  4. While the apples are cooking, divide the yogurt into 4 bowls.
  5. Stir 1 tablespoon of chia seeds into each bowl until combined.
  6. When the apple have cooked, remove from the heat and spoon onto the yogurt bowls.
  7. Serve immediately or let cool and then wrap and store in the fridge.

Weeknight Dinner in Under an Hour With These 3 Tips

I’ve been there, sister: it’s 5pm and you suddenly realize these kids in your house need to be fed. What can you throw together for dinner in under an hour that won’t take the last little amount of energy you have for the day?

Like I said; I’ve been there. But I keep three specific pieces of equipment in my kitchen that helps me through these last minute panic sessions. And I think you’ll love them, too!


Head’s up first, though: I’ll cover most of these tips in my upcoming live 90-day workshop, Uncomplicated Kitchen. We have a whole month dedicated to simple recipes you can make using one pot or pan! Click the image below to learn more!

My 3 Top Ways to Get Dinner on the Table in Under an Hour (and keep your weeknight sanity intact!)

1. Oh, bless the wonderful Instant Pot

I know this isn’t yet a staple device in everyone’s homes, but I feel as though it will be eventually.

The Instant Pot is amazing for busy parents, although there is a slight learning curve. It can look super intimidating right out of the box; bear no mind. At first, the only button you’ll need is “pressure cook”- and you’ll be using that button for all sorts of wonderful meals.

One of my favorite things about the Instant Pot, the thing that continues to blow my mind every time I use it, is that you can place a frozen chicken breast, a cup of dried beans, some liquids and seasonings inside and secure the lid, and you can have dinner in under an hour that literally tastes like it’s been simmering on the stove all day.

The Instant Pot cooks food with a combination of steam and pressure, and its capacity for cooking meat from frozen is something I will always love it for. It makes dinner in under an hour a cinch to pull off. 

The other day we wanted a spaghetti bolognese, but I forgot to pull ground beef out of the freezer. It went into the Instant Pot for 15 minutes, cooked it from frozen, and I added it to the sauce. I mean, the future is here, guys. And it’s a countertop kitchen device made in Canada and shipped to me from Amazon.

This is the (affiliate!) link on Amazon to the Instant Pot I have at home. I like my particular model because we use it to make homemade yogurt. If you don’t need all the bells and whistles and want to try a smaller one, I’ve heard good things about this smaller size.

2. Easy sheet pan meals.

This style of cooking is near and dear to my heart as you may now know. There’s a basic formula I like to follow for sheet pan meals:

  • Hot oven (I usually go around 400*F)
  • Sturdy pan (read: heavy) with a low lip
  • Combo of protein-vegetable-starch all tossed in similar seasoning; usually, a dry rub of some sort but sauces work, too

With a sheet pan meal, you can get creative, or you can be lazy.

One of my favorite lazy dinner in under an hour recipes, the one that I usually fall back on those nights of daddy-isn’t-home-so-we’re-fending-dinner-for-ourselves: coat some chicken breasts with egg wash and panko breadcrumbs (they’re crispier!) and bake  at 400*F for 12ish minutes alongside broccoli florets tossed in olive oil and salt.

Don’t forget to line the pan with aluminum foil to cut down on your time spent cleaning!


Want my go-to list of sheet pan meal ideas? Leave your name and email below and I’ll pop ‘em right into your inbox.

3. Buy the prepared ingredients.

Don’t get me wrong- I’m not talking processed food here (although that has its place, too) When I say prepared ingredients I mean this: let your grocery store do some of the prep work for you.

Buy the pre-cut celery and carrots. The rotisserie chicken. The frozen chopped fruit chunks. Herb paste.

These ingredients are still good for you, it helps cuts down on your prep time in the kitchen, and they’re usually made with minimally or no processed ingredients. Think of it as you cutting corners, guilt-free. Many nights, making dinner in under an hour means, for me, grabbing the pre-chopped cauliflower florets and pre-breaded chicken cutlets from the deli on the way home from work so I can throw them straight into the oven when I get home. Done. 

Because listen, mama. Cooking does not need to look like you hunched over your cutting board every night.

And you deserve a bit of a break, even on the nights you don’t call for pizza delivery.

No mama in the world wants to come home after a long day and get cracking on a big dinner! Here's how I get dinner in under an hour, even on the busiest weeknights.

No mama in the world wants to come home after a long day and get cracking on a big dinner! Here's how I get dinner in under an hour, even on the busiest weeknights.

No mama in the world wants to come home after a long day and get cracking on a big dinner! Here's how I get dinner in under an hour, even on the busiest weeknights.

No mama in the world wants to come home after a long day and get cracking on a big dinner! Here's how I get dinner in under an hour, even on the busiest weeknights.

“I Don’t Like That!” When Your Kids Refuse What’s For Dinner

Real talk: sometimes I cringe when my family asks, “what’s for dinner?” because…. Uh…. pizza delivery?

In truth, more often I cringe because I’m steeling myself for the inevitable “I don’t like thaaaaaaat” the second I do tell them what’s for dinner.

This happens even if dinner is something totally innocuous, like breaded chicken (other than vegetarian/vegans, I ask you: who doesn’t like chicken!? A stubborn 4-year-old in a bad mood, that’s who).

Because it totally sucks hearing that as a parent, right? You spend that time in the kitchen, no matter how long, getting dinner ready. You’re chugging away the hours til bedtime, and then dinner drama just throws a huge wrench onto the tracks.

And that’s the moment you realize you identify more closely with crabby Betty Draper than sunshiney Donna Reed.

That’s why next time, instead of driving yourself to drink (or becoming a short order cook), keep some of my favorite Family Dinner Hacks in your back pocket and maintain your sanity. Because by the time you’ve gotten to the dinner hour, you’re already thisclose to Netflix and sweatpants anyway! There’s no need to arrive at your post-bedtime me-time all irritated and cranky. You get me?


Here are some ways I avoid (or deal with) the ‘what’s for dinner?” argument:

Rotating Meal Plan

I’ve talked about this one before, I know, but it bears repeating again- when things get bonkerballs busy around here, a rotating meal plan saves my sanity every.single.time.

Here’s how I do it: I pick 5 meals I know everyone likes, and I buy their ingredients.

I use the other two nights of the week for leftovers and delivery.

Then I make those same 5 meals every week until things calm down again OR I get sick of the meals, then I rotate them up again.

So, say it’s Tuesday and I had planned on Sheet Pan Kielbasa and Peppers but my kids start whining, I can change the game up and serve chicken piccata instead, because I’ve already got all the ingredients on hand.

(what do you do when they whine about your choice and you don’t have something else planned? Wait til you read the last tip!)

“You don’t have to eat it”

We loosely follow Ellyn Satter in this house, which means I decide what to serve, where to serve it, and when we eat. My kids decide how much they eat and what they eat.

They are always allowed seconds of anything on their plate, provided we have enough and dessert, though we don’t usually do dessert (much, anyway).

By telling my kids, especially my somewhat picky, very stubborn daughter, “you don’t have to eat it- but this is all there is for dinner”, we have a way better track record.

The most important thing here is to stick with this method; it only works when it’s what they’re used to 90% of the time.

Here, this might help: a handy list of my 5 favorite, go-to, super-trusty kid-friendly dinner ideas! It’s an easy list to grab that’ll give you inspiration when you need it most.

Eat Together

I admit that I struggle with this one. As an adult pre-kids, with a husband who worked nights, I developed a love of eating my dinner solo in front of Netflix on the couch. Like, LOVE. It’s my favorite way to unwind at the end of the day if I’m being honest.

On top of that, I like being able to multitask while the kids eat dinner. This was especially true when they were babies and we followed baby led weaning; I would park them close to me in the kitchen and let them go to town with their dinner while I cooked my own meal and cleaned; then we’d head into the bedtime routine from there. But now that they’re older and don’t need highchairs or bibs, they sit at the table in regular chairs to eat,

Except they don’t eat at the table. They get up, they bicker, they throw toys, they complain about what’s on their plate, they disappear to the bathroom for 20 minutes (I think they learned that one from their dad).

However, when I sit down with them and we eat together, they are sooo much better about eating what’s in front of them.

And while I admit they are not the most riveting conversationalists, I like the pause of us sitting together. It’s a nice way to reconnect at the end of the day, especially on the nights when daddy is home to join us. 

Give Your Backup Plan Its Own Backup Plan

Sometimes, when the fight has all but left me, I scrap diner plans altogether and fall back on old standbys.

When my kids ask, “what’s for dinner?” and I say, “Fresh Cherry Tomato Pasta with Turkey Meatballs” and they immediately launch into whining, I’ll sometimes change it all up mid game and pull an old standby from the freezer or pantry.

Some faves? Naan pizza. White bean and bacon pasta with fried breadcrumbs. Sheet pan nachos with leftover veggies on top.

These are the surefire winners with my kids (like.. 94% of the time) and I still enjoy eating them, so it’s a win-win for everyone. That Greek Chicken Sheet Pan Meal I’d planned on making can wait until next time when I’ve got the stamina to deal with the kids’ drama.

Because at the end of the day, it’s really all about giving yourself grace. Create a framework that works for your home, and then get loose within that frame. When you’re relaxed, so are your kids. We work hard enough during the day- dinner hour doesn’t have to be a struggle!

Don’t forget to grab my GO-TO Kid-Friendly Dinner Recipes! Leave your name and email below, and I’ll send you my 5 trustiest dinner ideas that my kids will eat 9 times outta 10. Because let’s be honest, they’re still kids.
"I Don't Like That!" When Your Kids Refuse What's For Dinner

"I Don't Like That!" When Your Kids Refuse What's For Dinner

"I Don't Like That!" When Your Kids Refuse What's For Dinner

"I Don't Like That!" When Your Kids Refuse What's For Dinner

Crispy Spanish Rice Arancini (simple appetizer recipe for a party!)

This post sponsored by VeeTee Rice. Read my disclosure statement here.  

Here’s a simple appetizer recipe for a party that you can whip up in under 20 minutes! Spicy Latin flavors combine with a classic Italian appetizer to create these Crispy Spanish Rice Balls.

Spicy Spanish rice is bound with egg, coated in breadcrumbs, fried crispy, and studded with melty pops of soft Spanish cheese. It’s a simple appetizer recipe for a party that you can throw together with just 4 ingredients!

I’ve mentioned this before, but we’re rice fiends in our home. I love how versatility and inexpensive it is, and how it bulks up pretty much any dish.

We eat rice spicy, cheesy, fried with kimchi, made ahead as meal prep, bulked up under a fast weeknight curry, and a million other ways.

These Spanish style rice balls are a cross between two of my favorite ways to use rice, Spanish rice, and Italian arancini.

Spanish rice, that bright and fiery rice usually served alongside Mexican dishes like burritos or enchiladas, isn’t really “Spanish”, as in from Spain. It’s an Americanized term that refers to a Mexican style of cooking rice with cayenne, garlic, chicken broth, and tomatoes.

And Italian arancini is an appetizer usually made with leftover rice. They’re small, crispy fried balls of rice and cheese, usually served as an aperitif alongside a cool glass of white wine.

Arancini makes a perfect simple appetizer for a party; they’re just the size to pop in your mouth as you mingle and drink with friends.

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But what if you don’t have leftover rice to make into arancini? That’s where VeeTee rice flavors come in.

I’ve spoken before about my unabashed love of VeeTee Rice (especially since they have since become a sponsor of Percolate Kitchen, thanks guys!)

VeeTee, a US company based out of Virginia, sell packs of par-cooked rice that are done after just 2 minutes in the microwave.

Where other ‘instant’ rice brands can often become soggy or oddly textured after cooking, VeeTee rice cooks to the perfect al dente, and in only 2 minutes! It makes for a really quick way to add rice to your weeknight meals without having to babysit a pot on the stove.

VeeTee sells a number of different flavors of rice, including everything from plain, whole grain, mixed with quinoa, lemon, and the flavor I used to create this Spanish-Style Crispy Rice Balls: Spicy Spanish.

VeeTee’s Spicy Spanish rice has flavors of paprika, smokey adzuki beans, sweetcorn, tomato, and jalapenos, making it more than just a standard side dish; it’s a whole meal to itself.

But when you’re short on party appetizer recipe ideas, this spicy rice can turn into a perfectly quick dish in under 20 minutes.

Simply take a package’s worth of cooked Spicy Spanish rice, mix it with crumbled queso blanco, and roll in breadcrumbs. Dry the little balls over medium-high heat, then drain any excess oil on a paper towel.

What you’re left with are crispy little balls of spicy rice, cooled slightly with melty chunks of queso blanco, that are perfect for popping in your mouth as you mingle with friends. It’s a seamless blend of Latin heat and Italian cuisine, and the perfect simple appetizer recipe for a party this holiday season (or any time of the year!)

Spanish-Style 'Arancini' Rice Balls
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

Crispy Spanish Rice 'Arancini' is spicy Spanish rice studded with melty cheese and coasted in crispy breadcrumbs; make this simple appetizer recipe for a party this holiday season- or any time of the year! 

Servings: 4
Author: Ruthy Kirwan
Ingredients
  • 1 package VeeTee Spicy Spanish Style Rice (9.9 ounces)
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 1/3 cup crumbled queso blanco
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the rice, egg, and cheese. Use your hands or a large spoon to mix and combine thoroughly.
  2. In a large stainless steel pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  3. Pour the breadcrumbs onto a plate. Using our hands or a small handheld ice cream scoop, scoop the rice mixture and roll into balls. Toss the balls in the breadcrumbs until coated, then place carefully in the hot oil.
  4. Fry, turning the balls in the oil until they are browned on all sides.
  5. Place cooked balls on a plate lined with paper towel to drain off any excess grease, then serve hot.

FREE DOWNLOAD

Grab your copy of the Super Simple Dinner Ideas Cheat Sheet,

and give your brain a rest after 5pm!

*Clicking "Get It" means you consent to receiving emails from me* Powered by ConvertKit
Crispy Spanish Rice 'Arancini' is spicy Spanish rice studded with melty cheese and coasted in crispy breadcrumbs; make this simple appetizer recipe for a party this holiday season- or any time of the year!

Crispy Spanish Rice 'Arancini' is spicy Spanish rice studded with melty cheese and coasted in crispy breadcrumbs; make this simple appetizer recipe for a party this holiday season- or any time of the year!

Crispy Spanish Rice 'Arancini' is spicy Spanish rice studded with melty cheese and coasted in crispy breadcrumbs; make this simple appetizer recipe for a party this holiday season- or any time of the year!

Crispy Spanish Rice 'Arancini' is spicy Spanish rice studded with melty cheese and coasted in crispy breadcrumbs; make this simple appetizer recipe for a party this holiday season- or any time of the year!

Crispy Spanish Rice 'Arancini' is spicy Spanish rice studded with melty cheese and coasted in crispy breadcrumbs; make this simple appetizer recipe for a party this holiday season- or any time of the year!

How Your Personality Affects Managing Weeknight Routines

Do you ever look at other parents and wonder how the hell they keep it all together? Especially when it comes to managing weeknight routines and general family craziness.

Since we’re all here juggling too many balls with not enough hands, I wanted to let you in on a secret to managing those weeknight routines: these parents don’t have some magic wand they wave to get shit done. None of us do.

But what they do have, and what you can have too, is a formula that works with their personality. Knowing how to add a routine to your day in the right way, so that you’re feeling on top of yourself, can make all the difference.

The right routine will add structure to your weeknights at home, creating a rhythm to your evenings that runs on autopilot.

And the best part about creating these autopiloted rhythms? Doing so creates more time in the moments between that lets you stop, relax, feel present with your family, and appreciate the day you have.

Creating routines and rhythms that work with your personality to help managing weeknight routines is, in effect, a practice of minimalism. It’s discarding all the stress and bother and worry and ugh-ness of a rushed evening, and embracing one that is simpler, and easy to handle.

And your personality type plays a lot into that!

Do you remember taking a personality quiz in high school? I do! I was a big fan of women’s magazine quizzes at the time (and still am, which is why I created this quiz for meal planners), and taking the personality quiz in my psychology class felt just like that. I couldn’t wait to find my “type”.

How do you find your personality type? You can sign up at MeyersBriggs.com to pay and have a comprehensive test taken, or you can take a free version at 16Questions.com. Take it and then come back here for a general outline of how you can approach routine building with your personality type!

Ready to figure out the best way to start managing your weeknight routine? Ok, let’s get started.

Remember: I’m not psychologist. I just think this stuff is cool. And a lot of what is to follow is my own interpretation of the Personality Types. If you’re really into learning more about how your personality type works and how it can affect your relationships with others, I recommend this book.

Guess what!? We’ll be going even deeper into how your personality type affects your stress levels (and what to do about that) in my new membership site, Uncomplicated Kitchen! Click the banner below to learn more and save your seat!

Personality Types, as defined by the mother-daughter duo Myers-Briggs, who first created the test widely used today, are broken into 4 categories:

    1. Extraverted (E) vs. Introverted (I), which is how you express energy into the world. Do you feel drained from human contact, or energized by it?
    2. Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N), the method by which you receive and process information. Do you tend to take information given to you at face value, or do you fall back on your intuition?
    3. Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F), which is how you consider that information vs intuition. Do you tend to react according to strong emotions, or do you prefer to find out facts before action?
  • Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P), or how you then act upon that information. If you like creating a plan and sticking to it, or if you’re more “take it as it comes”.  

So you could look at creating a routine as something that works with your natural tendencies.

This way, instead of working against the grain and going along with what others tell you to do, figure out a way that works for you, instead!

The most important “letter” to look at when determining your best routine style is the last letter, a J or P. This is the letter that determines how you act upon things, how well you work within the confines of a routine.

Personality Types, as defined by the mother-daughter duo Myers-Briggs, who first created the test widely used today, are broken into 4 categories:

    1. Extraverted (E) vs. Introverted (I), which is how you express energy into the world. Do you feel drained from human contact, or energized by it?
    2. Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N), the method by which you receive and process information. Do you tend to take information given to you at face value, or do you fall back on your intuition?
    3. Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F), which is how you consider that information vs intuition. Do you tend to react according to strong emotions, or do you prefer to find out facts before action?
    4.  Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P), or how you then act upon that information. If you like creating a plan and sticking to it, or if you’re more “take it as it comes”.  

So you could look at creating a routine as something that works with your natural tendencies.

This way, instead of working against the grain and going along with what others tell you to do, figure out a way that works for you, instead!

The most important “letter” to look at when determining your best routine style is the last letter, a J or P. This is the letter that determines how you act upon things, how well you work within the confines of a routine.

Do you have a whole hour while your husband takes the kids on a grocery run? Use that to make as many lunches as possible for the week, and pack them in the fridge.

Got 15 minutes while Paw Patrol is playing? Grab a basket and throw in a week’s worth of clean clothes and leave them where you can grab them quickly in the morning.

By thinking ahead, looking a defined list, and taking charge in small pockets of time, you can effectively cross things off your to-do list while also allowing flexibility and not needing to stick so rigidly to a “routine” every single night.  


Want to explore this idea further, and see what types of different routines mean different things to you?

We’ll be breaking this and other weeknight strategies down in Uncomplicated Kitchen, the membership site for working parents!

Even better, we’ll do it without taking a ton of time to do so, along with a community of other like-minded women busting through the same strategies and their massive to-do lists, creating time in the evenings to enjoy their families and unwind instead of rushing around.

Weeknights as a busy mom don’t have to suck- Uncomplicated Kitchen can show you how!  

The Early Bird list isn’t up for much longer, and at that point, the price will jump significantly! Right now it’s just $55 to save your seat. Click here for more information.

You know you need help managing weeknight routines, but what do you do when you can't stick to one? Figure out your BEST routine type, based on your personality of course! Here's how.

You know you need help managing weeknight routines, but what do you do when you can't stick to one? Figure out your BEST routine type, based on your personality of course! Here's how.

You know you need help managing weeknight routines, but what do you do when you can't stick to one? Figure out your BEST routine type, based on your personality of course! Here's how.

You know you need help managing weeknight routines, but what do you do when you can't stick to one? Figure out your BEST routine type, based on your personality of course! Here's how.

Why I Love This Easy System of Meal Planning for Busy Moms

Psst; lean closer and I’ll tell you a secret: There’s a way of meal planning for busy moms that’s so unbelievably easy you might not even believe it.

Or maybe, because it’s so easy, you have tried it but you haven’t even realized that’s what you were doing. Which is why today, I’m going to tell you all about my favorite, easiest system of meal planning for busy moms that gets the job done without putting in a whole lotta legwork.

Because sometimes we get all caught up in the “plan” of doing things, of following along a specific set of steps. And we miss the forest for the trees, so to speak. 

Because you want to know the real truth of meal planning? It’s that you know how to do it, girl. You got this on lock. Even if you don’t think you do.

What is this magic form of meal planning for busy moms, you ask?

It’s called the Meal Plan Rotation Plan, and yes, the title of it has the word “plan” in it twice. Just go with it.

I even feel a little silly talking about this in a blog post because it’s SO EASY. It’s SO NORMAL. 

Basically, the Meal Plan Rotation Plan can be chopped up into two “types” of meal planning. 

(By the way, have you figured out your meal plan type yet? Because that’s gonna make this a lot easier to start with. Click here to do so, then pop back over and read the rest of this post)

Ok. Here are the two types of meal plans, when using the Meal Plan Rotation Plan:

Type One: Just plan dinner and “wing it” for breakfast and lunch.
Type Two: Plan for breakfast, lunch and dinner, BUT! You’ll have the same thing (or close to it) for breakfast and lunch every day, and have a different dinner recipe to serve each night.

The secret sauce? That once you create this meal plan, whether that’s Type One or Type Two, you stick with it. For WEEKS.

Utilizing the meal plan rotation plan means you “settle in” to a meal plan. You can vary this by making a 2-week plan, or even a three-week plan, and rotate those.

But by keeping it simple, by cooking and eating the same things for a period, you’re putting your decisions on autopilot for a while.

YES! Free Meal Planning Kit!

Grab the exact sheets I use to create my meal plans with the handy Meal Planning Bundle! Includes weekly meal plan template, recipe ideas, cheat sheet, and checklist.


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Putting a rotating meal plan for busy moms on autopilot accomplishes a lot more than saving the time it takes to sit down and meal plan.

  • Number one, you’ll save money at the grocery store because you can comfortably buy in bulk, or semi-bulk, and take advantage of sales, space in your cupboard, and conquer food waste a little easier.
  • Number two, removing the mental strain of decision making, as minor as it may seem, can do wonders for your busy mom brain.

Have you ever heard of ‘the mental load’?

If you’re a mom, you probably know exactly what I mean: it’s the extra load of responsibility for the family that is typically carried by the mother.

It’s remembering doctor’s appointments, switching out winter clothes for summer, organizing the babysitter for date night. It’s the little things that fathers, as important and helpful as they are and can be, often don’t even think about.

And that mental load is draining, right?!

But guess what: creating a solid, simple meal plan for busy moms like implementing a rotation system can ease that mental load.

Instead of meal planning being something you need to take care of every week, you can just cross the meal plan figuring out right off the list. It’s taken care of for a while.

You might be asking: But what if I get sick of what we’re eating? Then I say: change it up! A meal plan is not written in stone. The beauty of using a rotation plan is that YOU DECIDE IT.  And the freedom it gives adds more space for wiggle room.

Below is an example of a simple Meal Plan Rotation Plan I wrote for my family recently.

For most of last month, my husband was plowing through three long weeks of double shifts at work, and I was solo parenting more than usual. 

Times like this, extra busy times, the Meal Plan Rotation Plan really shines. It takes a big weight off my shoulders to not have to think about meal planning, but still feel confident we’re eating healthy and with easy meals.

Breakfast: every day, my kids had whole grain waffles spread with peanut butter, and I had egg salad in lettuce cups. My husband grabbed breakfast at work.

Lunch: I had leftovers, the kids had homemade “lunchables” of cold cuts, cheese, and crackers. Occasionally I changed it up with PBJs and roasted veggies.

Dinner: I kept the ingredients for these dinners on hand and a list of them on the fridge. Then I made what we had time for or were in the mood for that evening.

We had something to this effect every week for about three weeks. I’m getting sick of it all now, so I’ll spend about 10-15 minutes (longer than I usually do when I’m making the 5 Minute Meal Plan, but it takes longer to decide on new stuff!)


So what do you think!? Does this sound like a plan that might work for your family during busy periods? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

YES! Free Meal Planning Kit!

Grab the exact sheets I use to create my meal plans with the handy Meal Planning Bundle! Includes weekly meal plan template, recipe ideas, cheat sheet, and checklist.


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This easy system of meal planning for busy moms is so simple, you might be surprised at how effective it is! It starts with making a plan- and then sticking to it.This easy system of meal planning for busy moms is so simple, you might be surprised at how effective it is! It starts with making a plan- and then sticking to it.