Menus for Large Families

My monthly spaghetti sauce project

There are some great things about blogs, the best being that it brings me in contact with many wonderful women who are somewhere along the path I am walking as a wife and mother. In a recent Tuesday Topic, we were discussing feeding our large families. Becky was kind enough to type up her monthly menu and let me share it with you. She has 13 children, with nine still at home. On Sundays all of her children and grandchildren gather together for dinner – my dream for the future. This is what she sent to me:

One on the Mom’s on your blog mentioned wanting to see our monthly menu chart, so this is it. I do substitute different meals sometimes, but generally we stick fairly close to this. We have 5 children playing soccer right now, so sometimes I shake up the day of the week a meal is served to match a quicker meal with a busier day of the week. I’ll say up front that there is nothing too exciting here :-), but they are meals that most all of my children will eat. I buy large quantities of hamburger when I find a good price, and cook it all up at once, then freeze it in meal size amounts. Then any meal requiring cooked hamburger is very quick to put together. I do the same with chicken. I have only put the main dish of each meal. We almost always have some sort of bread, and fruit, vegetables or both with our meals.

Breakfasts: These are the same rotation each week.

Mon. – Oatmeal
Tues. – Hash brown potatoes with ham and cheese on top

Wed. – Scrambled eggs

Thurs. -Granola
Fri. – Peanut butter muffins

Sat. – Pancakes

Sun. – Cereal

Lunch: These are the same rotation each week with a few substitutions thrown in here or there.

Mon. – Tacos
Tues. – Tuna sandwiches or Mac and Cheese
Weds. Peanut butter sandwiches

Thurs. – Burritos or nachos

Fri. – Turkey or ham sandwiches

Sat. – Leftovers or sandwiches

Sun. – Mac and cheese or something else simple, as we always have a big meal for Sunday evening dinner

Dinner: These rotate on a monthly basis

Mon. – Chili
Tues – Spaghetti

Weds – Chicken burritos – this filling I make in a large batch and freeze in meal size containers

Thurs – Chinese chicken and rice
Fri – Twisters – burrito shell with chicken chunks, lettuce, tomatoes, green pepper, a little mayo, sprinkling of pepper, and bar-b-que sauce.

Sat – Hamburgers

Sun – Crock pot bar-b-que chicken, potato casserole

Mon – Calico beans – crock pot
Tues – Beef potato bake

Weds – Lasagna

Thurs – Beef stew

Fri – Tuna pile-up – cooked rice topped with tuna, shredded carrots, green peppers, pineapple, and thinned cream of chicken soup, or a
homemade version which is what we use, if I have time to make it.
Sat. – Homemade pizza

Sun – Roast, potatoes and gravy

Mon. – Taco soup – crock pot
Tues. – Spaghetti

Weds. – Baked potato bar

Thurs. – Tuna rice casserole

Fri. – Twisters

Sat. – Hamburgers

Sun. – Dad’s hearty fried rice

Mon. – Potato soup – crock pot
Tues. – Hamburger rice casserole

Weds. – Chicken enchilada casserole – the filling for this is made in triple amount, and then frozen for future use

Thurs. – Hamburger stroganoff – simple version or regular stroganoff.

Fri. – Chicken pile-up – same as Tuna pile-up, only with chicken chunks instead of tuna

Sat. – Homemade pizza

Sun. – Salisbury steak using hamburger patties , baked potatoes

This would have been even more fun if we were sitting around my family room sipping coffee, watching our kids play, and talking about menu ideas, but this is pretty good too!

A very special thank you to Becky. If you have menu ideas or recipes to share, I hope to have a page devoted to this topic on my “new and improved” blog – one of these days. Please email them to me at:

thankfulmom [at]gmail[dot]com

Also, if you have anything to add to the current Tuesday Topic about educating newly adopted older children, please send it my way.

Learning along with you,


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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Courtney
    September 30, 2009

    that was SO nice of her to do that! and you to share! thanks!!!

  2. Anonymous
    October 1, 2009

    Thanks for the ideas! This website is AMAZING to help make a meal plan. It has a calendar that you can put all your meals in, with ingredients, and then you can print out a shopping list based on that. It takes work upfront but once it is done is very easy.

  3. A Blessed Life
    October 1, 2009

    As a homeschool mom of 4 who has been planning meals for 18 years or more, this post was wonderful. I needed some fresh ideas. It also inspired me to make a meal schedule for at least breakfast and lunch so the kids can get started if I am working on something else. Thanks!

  4. Adrienne
    February 21, 2014

    Thank you for posting these ideas! I was feeling like a bad mom because I didn't feel that my children's lunches were healthy enough. I looked online for lunches for kids and all the lunches were gourmet type meals that would be impossible for me to feed 6 children 8 and under. I am relaxed now knowing that my lunches are not extravagant.

  5. Michelle
    September 27, 2014

    Thank you so much for posting these ideas. I have nine children and somedays I am scrambling to fix things to eat for the family. I've organized what you have here and it's worked out perfectly and the kids love the different ideas, I've been letting one of the kids pick what we're going to have that night on a rotating basis. Thanks again.

    1. Lisa Qualls
      September 28, 2014

      Great! Thanks for commenting, Michelle.

  6. dickisonfamily
    July 27, 2015

    I was feeling a little down because i have been feeding the same menu to my family of 9 since the beginning of time. Now, I am SO much more confident that this is good, healthy, affordable, and normal. Why did I feel that I should make a huge uncomfortable change to my menu plan if no one is complaining, and I still get to try new meals if I'm in the mood. Thanks for the encouraging support to just keep keepin' on ! I'd love to post my monthly menu too…if that's alright ? Thanks again !!

  7. dickisonfamily
    July 27, 2015

    Monday: Sweetrice
    Tuesday: Breakfast cookies x 2 (1 for the freezer)
    Wednesday: Pancakes x 2 (1 for the freezer)
    Thursday: Granola bars x 2 (1 for the freezer)
    Friday: Baked Oatmeal
    Saturday: Family Breakfast (scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits, gravy, hashbrowns)
    Sunday: Something from the freezer (on the way to church)
    We make everything from scratch, which takes just as long as adding junk to a boxed mix – but is WAY cheaper.
    Monday: spaghetti w/ greenbeans
    Tuesday: Mac & cheese – Not always homemade yet, as the kids get older, it will become cheaper to make ourselves all the time.
    Wednesday: mini pizzas – make the dough early.
    Thursday: bean burritos w/ rice – make the beans the night before in the crockpot, start the dough early.
    Friday: Ramen w/ saltine crackers
    Saturday: Grilled cheese sandwiches w/ chips & sliced cucumbers & ranch
    Sunday: Egg salad sandwiches w/ chips & fruit – crockpot boiled eggs while were at church.
    Monday: Chicken enchiladas w/ refried beans & sour cream'
    Tuesday: Lasagna w/ garlic bread & salad
    Wednesday: Baked teriyaki chicken w/ white rice & steamed veggie mix.
    Thursday: Meatloaf w/ mashed potatoes & gravy, corn, biscuits.
    Friday: Salad w/ grilled chicken in it w/ garlic bread, shells & cheese
    Saturday: Tacos w/ ground turkey, spanish rice, refried beans, lettuce, tomatoe, onion, cheese, sour cream, salsa
    Sunday: crockpot drumsticks, mashed potatoes & gravy, corn, biscuits.
    we have found some wonderful fast recipes to make biscuits, flour tortillas, spanish rice…etc. it just takes knowing the plan to stay a step ahead.
    We repeat this Menu day in day out monthly almost to a T (except when I get a wild hair to try something new, or Daddy wants pizza )


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