How to Meal Plan as a House Guest (Menu Planning Monday 2012-14-11)

1:00:00 PM

During the holidays, many of us will be visiting family and friends and traveling from out of state. Does that mean that meal planning is not necessary for that week? I don’t think so. My reasons:

You may be doubling, tripling or even quadrupling the cooking for your host. Any effort you may take in alleviating the stress of providing so much food will be welcomed.

You may have special food needs. Does your child only eat noodles? Does a family member have allergies or sensitivities? Are there special snacks that you prefer?

Your kids want a little bit of familiarity. Any children who are houseguests are already on edge because they are out of their routine. Getting familiar food on a regular basis (like snacks) will help their behavior for the duration of the stay be more pleasant.

I’m not saying that you should plan what should be cooked every night (because that would be rude unless previously discussed with your host), or even that you should bring the makings of a meal. But an easy dessert or breakfast that you can stash in your trunk already made—or just the ingredients!—can help any visit go a little smoother. And you can always stop at a local grocery and pick up favorite snacks, but you will save money if you pick them up on sale a week or two prior with a plan in mind.

And don’t forget snacks for the trip. I know I always do better during a long car ride with some snacks stashed away—and so do the kids. Definitely beats the convenience store prices.

So instead of a day by day menu plan, here are some ideas that I'm implementing this holiday season as we're visiting people.

Ideas for snacks for families with preschoolers or toddlers:

Nilla Wafers
Fruit or Veggie Puffs
Goldfish and other crackers

Meals and Desserts You Can Bring:

Zucchini Bread

Do you have a recipe that you bring as a houseguest? I’d love to hear your ideas!

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  1. I love kale chips! :) I have a menu Monday link up if you want to link up every week. Have a great week! Erin

  2. Thats a really good idea. I go to Idaho to visit family every summer for 2 weeks and we always spend so much time figuring out dinner. Maybe I will go this year with 10-15 suggestions :)