Sunday, December 4, 2011

Meal Planning Habits: Does the Nut Fall Far from the Tree?

Like most behaviors, meal planning comes more easily to some than to others. What we see and experience as children probably has a lot to do with it. I know for sure that this nut didn't fall far from the tree: I plan and cook much as my mother did when she was raising me. As a result, meal planning is a habit, something I don't think too much about unless I'm telling someone else how I go about it, or unless I'm trying a different approach because someone in my life has a special need.

As I set out this morning for the grocery store with my weekly shopping list, which this week includes ingredients for my mother's black bean, tomato, and garlic salad, I got to thinking about my mother's shopping strategy. She is almost never an impulse buyer, always having in her head her list for healthy, or as she puts it, "proper" food. I think that as I go on through the years, I probably won't need a list either, but for now I do as I continue to refine the art of meal planning for one, something she's perfected over the last forty years.

Here's how her mental list goes: Breakfast is fruit, cereal, milk; Lunch is soup and more fruit and a sandwich with meat, lettuce, and tomato; dinner is meat or fish, rice or potato or pasta, a garden salad, a green or yellow vegetable, and a pickle of some kind. There is no dessert. If she gets hungry before bedtime, it's a small bowl of cereal with milk.

I tend to frame my list as she does, only for now and for however long it takes until I get it nailed down into a habit like brushing teeth, I put my list on paper.

As I said, this nut didn't fall far from the tree. I did sprout, I did take root. I'm a bit older and more robust than a sapling, definitely in my nut-bearing years, but I still have a way to go to grandeur.

Photo source: txpotato

1 comment:

  1. Hang in there, Sherri. Your mom's meal planning habits will become second nature someday!