Monday, January 23, 2012

Home Ec- Menu Planning

Throughout January, in our home ec lessons, I have been teaching Miss Abigail about making menus. I think menus are an important part of cooking and I'm pleased that Abigail now has a pretty good understanding of this process. My mother is a faithful menu-maker and I learned from her. It isn't hard, but it does take some thought and then a commitment to carry through with the actual cooking. Making menus and cooking from them can save much time, much stress and even more money.

As I worked with Abigail, I created a menu planner that has a box with letters representing daily servings that she could cross off. In this way, Abigail can see if she's covered the nutrition she needs to provide during the day. This just seemed to make the nutrition aspect of healthy eating more obvious, and there is room to write ingredients in a grocery list at the side. Each letter in the box represents a serving in the basic groups on the FDA food pyramid. Beside the basic principles of nutrition and daily servings, we covered what makes a good menu and an attractive meal, using the pantry, using the food ads, creativity and variety, how to create a shopping list, and marketing strategies. Now that we've done the brain work, I have planned a couple of related pantry projects like crocheted jar ribbons, a fat pantry mouse, and ruffled jar covers.


  1. I think menu planning is such an important skill! Especially in times when being frugal is essential.

    It isn't a skill that I have though! A fat pantry mouse sounds interesting!

  2. Love the fact you are teaching Abigail how to do this. I didn't teach my daughter (who is now in her thirties)so she has started calling and asking about teaching her children. I always thought that it was something everyone just knew. Who knew? Anyway, I have started setting up "Cookbooks" for my grandchildren with the menu and all of the recipes I have put together for each meal. I am even doing one for my daughter. All it takes is a three ring binder and some sheet protectors.

  3. Jenny, you will like the pantry mouse. It is a lovely idea, really - something to look forward to. ;o)

    Nola, I was very surprised that most of my friends don't actually make menus. I was interested that my mother-in-law sort of makes them up in her head as she shops in the grocery store. (Actually, she really may do a little something more formal, like making a brief list, but nothing like my mother, who lives and dies by her menu plan.) ;o) Your cookbook sounds like a great idea. My mother actually did that with many of her favorite menus and I love having these recipes. Your grandchildren will be blessed by that!

  4. I think your teaching your daughter important skills ;) ): You have the right idea ;) :) Also I was curious about the "fat pantry mouse" Is that a craft project? I'm interested in reading about that project and the other two you mentioned at the end of your post!!! Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)


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