The Menu Planner Challenge

My days are crazy busy. nanny quit so my 19 month old is completely managed between my hubby and me, and work, especially research, has taken a back seat. Even so, I need a lot of planning to get up at 5 and still be out of the house with lunch and breakfast all cooked and stacked at 7.05 am. Since planning is definitely not my forte, I find myself downsizing the variety of grains and vegetables I cook to a bare minimal, easy to mange items. But, I have finally conquered food waste! Most days everything i cook is consumed within the same day.
I have decided to start planning the week's Menu (atleast work week).  A good starting point would be consolidating current lunch box options, my starting point for the day's menu
Other than the usual suspects - prep time, cooking time, balance, whether suitable for lunch box, i also need to look at how fast by son can eat the food.  His lunch hour is 25 minutes and he chews every morsel 60 times.  He rarely comes home with a empty lunch box :(
The list of  my/ Crowd favourite lunch box items:
  1. Upma with all possible vegetables - Planning 0 if all ingredients are in the home, Could be made with Vermicilli, Rava, Wheat Rava, Broken Millets, Broken Corn etc... Infinite variety   - My favourite - Not lunch box friendly (I don't mind) - Very Healthy - Quick  - Loong time to eatsince it is not a favourite
  2. Gobhi Paratha - Planning includes cleaning and finely chopping the cauliflower, Mixing the dough the previous night to ensure I don't take to an early grave - All round favourite - Lunch box friendly but best warm, A tad on the fatty side, high carb - Time intensive - Quick eat
  3. Aloo Paratha - Planning could include getting the potato stuffing ready, Mixing the dough the previous night - All round favourite - Lunch box friendly but best warm, A tad on the fatty side, high carb - Time intensive - Quick eat
  4. Paneer Paratha - Planning could include preparing the homemade paneer  Mixing the dough the previous night - All round favourite - Lunch box friendly but best warm, A tad on the fatty side, lot of protein though - Time intensive - Quick eat
  5. Utappam - Planning includes having the dosa batter made and fermented, could include chopping all the vegetables esp the shallots - New entry to my son's lunch box - Ideal warm, ok cold, decent balance esp when I make the batter with 3 cups of rice, 3/4 urad daal and 3/4 moong daal - Fairly quick - Very quick eat
  6. Pasta - Planning ensures I have all ingredients on hand, especially cheese - Kid favourite - Nice hot/cold, well balanced since I ensure the addition of chickpeas/ peas/ butter beans/ rajma into the pasta - Fairly Quick - Long time to eat, pasta needs chewing
  7. Idli Sambhar - Planning includes having the batter made and fermented, could include chopping all the vegetables esp the shallots - All round favourite- Ideal warm, ok cold, decent balance, especially because of the sambhar. - Quick - Very quick eat
  8. Roti with Rajma/Chana/Moong/Kurma - Planning includes soaking dry beans, should include preparing the dough - All round favourite - Best warm, gets a tad chewy when cold, decent balance - Fairly quick - Fairly long time to eat, roti needs chewing
  9. Fried Rice with tons of vegetables - Planning includes ensuring a good stock of vegetables and basmati/jeera/red rice - All round favourite - Lunch box friendly - Very Healthy - Chopping time, but fairly quick - Fairly quick eat
  10.  Rice Yogurt Salad - Planning to ensure-  grapes/raisins/pomegranate - All round favourite - Lunch Box friendly - Very Health - Very quick - Very quick eat
 Can the food blogging world at large add more lunch box choices and help plan weekly menus'?
I like what the school does : Monthly menu


M
T
W
Th
F
B
Gobhi Paratha
Raita
Paneer Paratha
Raita

Tomato Chutney
Dosa

Moong Dosa
Pumpkin Amti
Chocos
MOong Dosa
Tomat Gojju
Special K
School
Utappam with Carrot Capsicum and Cabbage
Utappam with
Cauliflower
Capsicum and Cabbage
Curd Rice
L
Moong Daal
Rice
Beetroot
Toor Daal
Rice
Aloo Capsicum
Toor Daal
Rice
Mix Veg
Pumpkin Amti
Rice
Mix Veg
Cauliflower Potato
Butter Beans
Toor Daal
D
Dosa
Tomato Chutney
Ragi Pancakes
Marmalade
Honey
Eggs
Bagels
Cream Cheese
Cereal
Roti
Paneer
Eggs for kids
Uddin Bonda
Rasam
Carrot Kheer
Available
Yogurt
Apples
Bananas
Oranges
Biscuits
Yogurt
Bananas
Oranges
Biscuits
Bengal Sweets
Yogurt
Bananas
Oranges
Biscuits
Chips
Yogurt
Bananas
Chips
Cornflakes Mixture
Yogurt
Sapota
Bananas
Biscuits
 There is a preponderance of wheat and rice in my food.  I need to balance it out with other tasty, quick, easily accepted dishes made with millets/oats.
 






















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