I had just about had it one fine Monday. It was already eight in the morning and before my son woke up, I had to be ready with his meal box. My husband was on a veggie diet and I didn’t have enough veggies in the house. I was so frustrated. Somehow I managed to have everything ready within time.
I realized that it is high time to start maintaining a meal calendar and I was somewhat successful but still had to go through so many food related tantrums and wastage. I dislike cooking meals if I see food getting wasted. So back to square one.
Meals are probably the most important part of the day and having one at right time based on need is quite important for a family to grow the right way.
A few weeks ago I was chatting with an office colleague who gave me the idea to look for a easy to use online meal calendar that could help me. I was at it for almost three hours since I was trying to find an application that could run on all devices (Android, iOS and Web). After downloading a few apps, my search stopped at Famealy.
Yes I found it! Famealy (download here) – a simple and easy accessible online meal calendar.
Honestly, experimented with a few others apps but stuck with Famealy because I wanted an application that allows the entire family to edit and access the calendar. Also an app which allows each family member to prepare their own calendar and share with me. I wanted the application to allow me to notify to shop and help maintain plus manage a shopping list. This would save my time at the grocery store and also, less shopping related tantrums!
Famealy – Why I recommend it?
Famealy is an online meal calendar for my family.
THE Do-it-Yourself NO STRESS way to plan everyone’s meals together.
1. Famealy works on multiple devices thereby allowing family members to access their account anywhere.
2. You can download it for free and upgrade as per requirements. I am currently on their basic plan and will upgrade once they have new features added. For details on plans click here
3. It is simple to use and allows you to edit multiple meals assuming that each family member is not eating the same meal
4. You can easily add, change or move a meal. Specify who is eating what!
Famealy (download here)
5. You could share calendars among each other. Famealy is available on desktop as well with same functionality (Allowing you to have 7 day view)
6. The best part is that I printed the calendar and stuck on my fridge.
7. You could maintain your shopping list and be more prepared just like me. Now I have my list ready before I enter the store and have right amount of ingredients ready
8. Avoid last minute decision. I landed up reducing unhealthy meals by being ready
9. The best one is, yes you guest it, reduced tantrums since every member plans their own meals.
10. Another additional benefit using Famealy was reduced food wastage. Preparing food based on individuals saves both time and money.
I have been using Famealy for three weeks now and I am just loving it. I was able to reduce the food wastage to almost 60% on a weekly basis.
Check out my meal calendar below with meals marked for my son. I just shared it on WhatsApp with my spouse and asked him to make change to it if he wants.
What makes Famealy unique and so helpful
Famealy treats a family as a bunch and does focus on individual planning. I don’t plan meals for my family. My family members plan their own meals and share it with me. Famealy doesn’t assume entire family having one dish. This helps me plan for meals for my 3 year old son allowing him to have something new every day. Variety is the key for toddler.
I add my family members (husband, dad and sis) thereby helping me to plan the entire week. It was so easy to add members. It can be done in two ways – First, you can just add their name to the calendar so it’s easier for you to mark what is being cooked/planned for them, and Second – you can add them with View/Edit access, which means they’ll be able to login to the app from their own devices and make changes / add to shopping list, etc. The second approach means everyone in the family can have up-to-date synchronized meal calendar on their phones / desktop, and with Edit access they can also contribute to the meal planning.
Famealy isn’t rigid
I wrote to the app creators thanking them for efforts and they shared a list of upcoming features they’re looking to add. Some of those are:
What I love about it is that it doesn’t force a particular way of meal planning. You want to only plan certain meal slots, can do. You want to take printout of the meal plan and use that throughout the week, can do again. You want to use desktop but your spouse uses a phone?. You want to share your meal plans with grandparents / other extended family members, also done. I use WhatsApp, messaging, or even Twitter for friends. Try sharing your meal plan (use 7-day option) using the Share feature and share it with a friend / extended family on WhatsApp. They’ll be amazed.
Two existing features that I found most useful:
- Print feature on Web app : print a complete 1/3/7 day calendar and stick it to my refrigerator
- Share feature on Android / iOS / Web app : I can share a 1/3/7 day snapshot of my calendar with friends & family via WhatsApp / Email / other ways
Another aspect I loved is the understanding of family dynamics in collaboration – I gave “Edit” access to my spouse, but “No” access for my child and “View” access to my cook. (In the process of installing the app on my cook’s phone as well for greater ease).
Reminders are currently fixed. Custom Reminder times is probably an upcoming feature which they will likely make available to Paid plan users.
- Users getting an option to hide meal slots they usually don’t plan for (this feature was released in the Web app). They will release it in Android and iPhone/iPad apps in a couple of days.
- Recipe links for meals and options to store complete recipes as well (this feature will be added in another 2 weeks).
- Optional reminders to start cooking a meal.
- Copy/Paste functionality on mobile apps. They already have Copy/Move using drag-and-drop on Web and mobile apps – but not “Copy” on mobile apps. This feature will enable users to copy over an entire previous week to current one, copy one meal to all 5 days of the week, etc. (this feature will be released this coming weekend).
- Custom Reminder times (instead of fixed times right now)
Obviously, I am still working towards finding a solution to make a toddler finish his entire meal on his own but planning meals just got easy. Get your calendar now and do connect with me to share your thoughts views. I also have some suggestions for toddlers meals here