Heading into the holidays, I can get easily overwhelmed. I try to get ahead of the stress and plan ahead. This year, I’ve made up my dinner menus to carry me straight through to the new year. I realized that since I have to battle the same battle with picky eaters and my own desire to feed healthy meals to my family that many mothers face.
My Monthly Menu of Family Meals
I thought some of you might like to skip the meal planning this month and just share mine. So, I’m posting my monthly menu of family meals here with links to all of the recipes.
Of course, you’ll still have to do the shopping and cooking. Sorry, I haven’t figured out the trick to saving you that trouble. Hint: You can buy all the ingredients that can be frozen in one big trip at the beginning of the month and just pick up fresh ingredients in quick weekly trips (when you’ll be dashing out for your baking needs and last-minute gifts anyway).
Also, given the hectic pace of December, you’ll find a lot of crockpot meals and quick and easy dishes to help you get dinner on the table even when you don’t have much time.
Some notes about the menu:
- Every Monday is meatless.
- Each week includes at least one fish dish (typically on Wednesday).
- I tried to vary the type of protein, cuisine, and cooking style during each week so that you won’t get bored having similar things (although in light of the season, I omitted grill recipes).
- Not all of these meals are going to score a 10 for health factor. I believe strongly in moderation. It’s much easier to live a healthy lifestyle if you allow yourself occasional indulgences.
- On night’s when the vegetable isn’t one that all the kids love, I also set out a small veggie platter (celery, carrots, red bell pepper, and mushrooms) before dinner for them to snack on.
- My husband and I like to eat leftovers for lunch, so I don’t have a built-in day for leftovers. If you know you throw out a lot of leftovers, omit one of the meals and insert leftovers as the meal.
- Due to the higher expenses associated with the holidays, I did not include ANY days for eating out. In an average month though, we eat out at least once or will order in.
- For ease and convenience (not to mention health and well-being), I use Uncle Ben’s Whole Grain medleys, Stove Top Whole Wheat Stuffing, and Barilla Plus pasta (I’m not getting paid to say that–I really do love them!).
- Also, for convenience, I mostly buy frozen vegetables so that: 1) I always have them on hand and 2) I don’t have to worry about using them before they go bad so I can adjust the menu more easily when needed.
Family Menu For December Meals
1 – Chicken Braised with Sauteed Kale, Chickpeas, and Tomatoes
2 – Corn Chowder, Salad
3 – Chicken Lo Mein
4 – Baked Cod, Brown Rice Risotto, Roasted Asparagus
5 – Pulled Pork, Coleslaw, Steamed Corn
8 – Pot Roast with Vegetables, Baked Sweet Potatoes
9 – Stuffed Acorn Squash, Salad
10 – Individual Chicken Pot Pies
11 – Parmesan Tilapia, Steamed Spinach, Wild Rice
12 – Pork Chops with Apples, German Potato Salad
13 – Fajitas, Spanish Rice
14 – Swiss Chicken, Green Beans
15 – Baked Kabobs, Corn on the Cob
16 – Artichoke Lasagna
17 – Chicken Noodle Soup
18 – Tuna Muffins, Salad
19 – Slow Cooker Philly Cheesesteaks, Zucchini Chips
21 – Crockpot Ribs, Baked Beans, Coleslaw
22 – Gumbo, Brown Rice
23 – Zucchini Cauliflower Fritters, Easy Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms
24 – Beef Brisket, Mashed Potatoes, Peas
25 – Island Spice Pork Tenderloin, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli
26 – Shrimp Scampi, Whole Wheat Spaghetti, Roasted Tomatoes
27 – Roast Chicken with Vegetables, Stuffing
28 – Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
29 – Beef Stroganoff, Whole Wheat Egg Noodles, Green Bean Casserole
30 – Black Bean Fritters, Salad
35 thoughts on “Menu for a Month of Family Meals”
What a wonderful menu!! I’ll definitely be printing this one out, but most likely moving some of the meals around for easier meals on the nights that I’m working and my husband is cooking dinner 😀
So jealous of your organizational skills! I really need to sit down and just make a meal plan, then I won’t have to make last minute trips to the store 🙂
A meal plan is really a great idea. I’ve been wanting to start one for a while now.
I hope you don’t mind I bookmark this. I always run out of recipes or things that are different to cook. Never thought of meatless Monday which is really good! Thanks for all the ideas!
I tried so many times to do this, but our lives are so unpredictable at the moment that I eventually gave up 🙁 I hope one day I could be this organized.
I’m a sucker for trying new things and new recipes. I’m definitely interested in trying a few of these.
If my family could do something like this it would be great. We are always changing our minds on what we want for dinner. Seeing some new ideas to try though.
I definitely see oodles of ideas here that I’d be interested in!
I’ve been getting bored with our usual meals. Can’t wait to try some of these!
This is a great list1 I hope to follow something like this in the future!
Wow, what a planner. So far I have added 3 of your recipes to my Ziplist Recipe Clipper. Looking forward to coming back and going through more. Thank you!
Ziplist recipe clipper? I need to check that out! Sounds like it could be very helpful in keeping my recipes and grocery lists organized.
Loved look at your menu. I make a monthly menu too and only shop monthly with a few things in between. We don’t eat out much and it’s well known here who ever is on hand helps with dinner. I love seeing what your making too for new ideas.
Mind if I come over for dinner? LOL — You have some good meals on that menu 🙂
Kudos to you for having the ability to pre-plan like this! I wish I had your cooking strength.
I love a lot of the meals on this list! We currently use eMeals, a weekly meal plan. I would love to try a few of these meals to substitute dinners in our current meal plan that we’re not fond of!
Hi Corinne – I am impressed at your planning. I typically do one week out, and plan in advance for parties, but I don’t know if I could do this for a whole month like you. I’m very, very impressed. Enjoy all of the dinners! Hugs, Holly
I do a weekly plan 🙂 I try to match all the deals and coupons so I get the best deals for my family.
During the rest of the year, I typically use a weekly plan too. I changed my strategy this month only because my to-do list (e.g. Christmas cards, holiday shopping, parties, etc.) was getting a little overwhelming and I was afraid I’d end up eating out a lot for lack of planning. I need to be better about shopping deals.
HOLY CRAP!!!!! This is SO NICE OF YOU!!! i really need this. I cant believe you did so much work for us. ((BOOKMARKED)) YAY!
Yay! I’m glad you like it. I hope you enjoy the recipes as much as we do. A lot of them are our absolute favorites.
Thanks, Corinne. You just made my month of December much easier!
I should, but I never plan a menu. My Hubs and I live like 5 minutes from a grocery store, so we decide every morning what we want for the day. Not good, but that is how we do it.
Terry, if the store was a more convenient stop for me, I’d actually prefer to do it your way! I prefer using fresh ingredients but often I end up throwing things out if I have to buy them in advance since life gets in the way and I sometimes have to shuffle my menu. I guess we all do what works best for us, which is really what matters.
I think this is such a great menu! I am a big fan of planning menus, but have never planned for a month in advance. I think it is a smart idea to plan for the whole month during December! It is such a crazy time of the year. There are so many meals ideas on your calendar that my family would love!
I would love to try that out, wonder if I could get it to match up to the sales at the grocery store.
Jennifer, I wish I was better at shopping sales. I haven’t found a good system that I can stick with though. Maybe we can collaborate someday and I can come up with flexible menu plans and you can come up with the shopping strategy.
Many great meals there:)
Wow, what an awesome article! Love all the receipes, love the images, you did such a thorough job. Thank you, and I will definitely be making many of these meals next month. 🙂
Deb, I’m glad you like it! I hope that it does help save you some time and trouble this month. A lot of the dishes on this menu are our family favorites.