Dinner theme nights could be the game changer you’ve been looking for when it comes to meal planning in your household. Who doesn’t love a theme?
If you’re like me and you’re responsible for meal planning, you might feel like you are hitting a wall week after week when it comes time to pick the meals you and your family will eat (and hopefully enjoy!).
There’s a lot to think about between calendars, the food you have in your fridge and pantry, food that’s on sale, and more. Plus one thing is for sure, dinner keeps happening! So instead of trudging through, I went in search of ways to make meal planning less painful.
Luckily, there are a bunch of things that can make meal planning more manageable — scheduling a day and time each week, keeping a list of happy meals that your family will actually eat, repeating meals, adding in meals that don’t need a recipe, and more! Theme food nights are something that I tried a bit later, dipping my toe in with just one day a week and then increasing from there. But it’s a simple tool to make meal planning more approachable that shouldn’t be overlooked!
Here’s what we’ll cover in today’s post:
- How theme meals make meal planning easier
- Other benefits of dinner theme nights
- Themed dinner night ideas
Dinner theme nights make meal planning easier
I first started to dabble with themed food nights when I realized that we were making breakfast for dinner every week. We love breakfast food at our house and breakfast food also happens to be extremely easy to make. So on Wednesday night, when the week was starting to get to us and it wasn’t Friday eve yet, we would make a no brainer breakfast for dinner.
That was my gateway into themed dinner nights.
After Wednesday’s breakfast for dinner, we added crockpot Mondays, and in the summertime we crush grill + chill Fridays.
Using themed nights for dinner is helpful for meal planning because it narrows down the options you have to pick from.
When you go to meal plan with food theme nights you don’t ask, “what meal should we make on Monday”? Which is a broad, potentially overwhelming question.
You ask, “what crockpot meal should we pick for Monday night?” Less choices, less overwhelm.
It’s like ordering at McDonalds vs. In-N-Out. Decision fatigue is a real thing and less things to pick from means less fatigue. Meal themes have quickly become a favorite tool to make meal planning easier for that very reason!
Other benefits of theme dinner nights
One day a week or seven, you decide!
There are many reasons why I love dinner theme nights. One of the best things about this meal planning tool, is that you can use a little (one day a week) or a lot (seven days a week) — whatever make sense for you!
I’m not sure I’ll ever theme every day of the week, but I know many moms who do and absolutely love it. I also know many moms that only theme one day a week and it does the trick! You get to decide!
Meal planning goes faster when you have themed dinner nights of the week
Because food theme nights helps you narrow down your choices, it doesn’t take as long to plan meals for the week. I love a time saver.
Use your themed meal nights to incorporate more nourishing meals
Themed meal nights can help you increase the amount of nourishing food in your weekly meal plan too! Maybe you’re trying to increase good fats so you pick Fish Fridays! Or maybe you want to get more adventurous with vegetable-forward meals so you pick meatless Mondays. There are truly so many options and you get to pick what’s right for you.
Change the dinner themes for the week whenever you want
Tired of a dinner theme night? Switch your theme nights! We like to use a seasonal theme night, like grill + chill Fridays, that is swapped out when the weather gets not-so-grill-worthy in the winter.
30 dinner theme night ideas!
Here are some ideas for your family dinner theme nights to get you started!
- Crockpot Mondays
- Taco Tuesdays
- Grill + chill Fridays
- Breakfast for dinner night
- Meatless Mondays
- Tex-Mex Tuesdays
- Soup + salad Sundays
- Casserole night
- Sandwich Saturdays
- Moo Mondays
- Italian night
- Fish Friday
- Seafood Sunday
- Thai Thursdsays
- Asian-inspired night
- Pizza party Fridays
- Bagged salad night
- Pork night
- Air Fryer Fridays
- Soup, stew, and chili night
- Stir fry Sundays
- Bunday Monday (food served in a bun)
- Meat + potato Sundays
- Salad Saturdays
- Charceuterie Tuesdays
- Kids pick night
- Pasta night
- Leftover night
- No cook Wednesday
- Sheet pan Sundays
Do what’s best for you
Remember, there are a ton of tools and strategies out there for how to make meal planning easier, but they are just tools! Ulimately, you know what works for your family. Try out different methods and stick with what makes sense for your family. You’re doing great!