|It's hard to describe menu planning with a picture.|
That is the point of all this work, after all. We're doing it to ultimately make our lives easier and hopefully, better, healthier...you get the idea. There's a never-ending stream of research telling us how important family meals are for our well being and our health. And by family I don't just mean two parents plus two kids. Family is however you define it and dinner for one is just as important as dinner for six.
If you're still not convinced that it's worth the effort, check out this food manifesto by Mark Bittman. He has a bunch of great ideas on how we can improve our food supply, but he also talks about the value of home cooking. Another good source of information is the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans that was released this past week. It can be tough to follow the guidelines at a restaurant, but at home you're in control.
In the end, no matter what your motivation, planning meals (and cooking them) will take some time to make it a regular habit. It makes sense to find the method that works best for you and your lifestyle.
Here are a few more ideas to help you get started.