I’ve been a big fan of Kelly Smith since I tried her raw cookie dough bites nearly a year ago. Summer is quickly coming to an end, and that means it’s time to get organized for the back-to-school season, as well as all of the activities that come along with it. Of course, you wouldn’t be here reading this post if planning healthy meals (especially wholesome school lunches) wasn’t part of your back-to-school agenda! The fact is, meal planning is a wonderful strategy to help families enjoy healthy, home-cooked meals with the awesome added benefits of saving time, money, and stress!
So, by learning how to create a weekly meal plan, you’ll not only ensure that your family eats healthier and saves money, but it will also save you time and stress as well.
Shown above is what’s on the menu at The Nourishing Home for our first week back-to-school.
So without further ado, here are the top five tips I share at each of my meal planning seminars. The first step in meal planning is to make a Master List of Meals, which is simply a list of all the meals that you make. As you start trying new recipes, remember to add the ones your family likes to your Master List of Meals. Before you start selecting meals for the week ahead, first take a look at what’s happening each day, and plan your meals accordingly.
For extra-busy days, schedule a “leftovers night,” where you can simply warm up a meal from a previous evening. First, check your pantry and frig to see what you already have on hand, and be sure to plan for meals that utilize these ingredients. Even planning a few meals a week, or planning meals for just the busiest days of the week, will go a long way in helping you stay on track with your healthy-eating goals and budget, as well as save you time and stress!
Make your meal plan for the week, and then go through each meal and list out all the ingredients needed to create that meal.
Keep a pad of paper on your kitchen counter, and jot down items as you run out of them so they can quickly and easily be added to The List. Just an hour or two over the weekend can go a long way in making things quicker and easier for you during the week ahead!
Meats: Cut and divide meat into portions based on your meal plan, and freeze (you can even place the meat into a marinade and freeze). Brown extra ground turkey, chicken, or beef, to use in another dish, such as tacos, later in the week. Cook extra chicken breasts, and then cut some up for another meal such as stir-fry or pasta dishes. Cook extra rice, put it into a container, and refrigerate or freeze for use as a quick side dish with a future meal.
For more healthy meal planning strategies, as well as free weekly whole food meal plans, visit The Nourishing Home.
Kelly Smith loves the Lord, her family, and sharing her passion for real food cooking and meal planning with others. Filed Under: Making Changes, MOM tips, MOMables · Tagged With: mealplanning, MOMables · Post Copyright Property of MOMables Recipe by MOMables uploaded by MOMablesSubscribe now!
This is a terrific idea, fits for me because I always have a hard time on preparing meals for my kids. I love these tips, personally its a nightmare when the kids go back to school so meal planning and using these tips have helped me so much.
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This 14 day clean eating meal plan will change your life because it makes eating healthy easy for the whole family! My philosophy on eating well has always come with a little flack from the internet community.
Eating real food is what I strive for and is the motivating factor for my lifestyle (hello hobby farm!) As much as I love weeding and tending animals, I’m really in it for the FOOD!
80% of the time I make a very deliberate effort to include whole grains, lots of protein, vegetables, and fruit in our eating. The links go to the recipes but some of the recipes can only be found in my EBook Real Food For Real Families. So that’s where MOMables and I come in: We want to show you how easy and beneficial it is to incorporate meal planning into your weekly routine.
Meals prepared at home generally contain a greater variety of nutrient-rich foods compared with those found at typical restaurants. That’s because once you make your meal plan and purchase the ingredients needed for each of the meals outlined, you can then go on auto-pilot. Simply execute the meal plan day-by-day without having to stress over what’s for dinner and without having to make multiple trips to the market.
You can find each of the recipes listed (as well as my free meal planning template) by visiting Healthy Back-to-School Menu.
You can also find this information in more detail, as well as my popular “Cook Once, East Twice or More” tips, over at Mastering Meal Planning.
Taking time to really think through this first step will save you a ton of time in the long run; no more racking your brain to try to think of what you should make for the week. Use ground meat to mix and form into meatballs and burgers that can be frozen for later use.
For example, I find it super-helpful to pre-chop, rinse, and store lettuce for salads for the week ahead. Grate cheese, make salad dressings or sauces, etc., and store them in the fridge or freezer. When making out your meal plan, consider which dinners lend themselves to also being a great lunch. Children need a healthy balance of protein, carbs, and fats for sustained energy and optimal learning. She is the author and creator of The Nourishing Home—a blog dedicated to sharing delicious whole food recipes, cooking tips and techniques, and overall encouragement to help others in their quest to live a more nourished life. Your information will not be shared with any third party and you can unsubscribe at any timeWant MORE Ideas Like this one?
Here’s the secret to making real food a lifestyle change and not just a fun idea or a weeklong diet. This lifestyle is made achievable, attainable, and desirable by focusing on one simple word: balance. I don’t have a pantry full of health-food-store-only-products; I tend to learn towards traditional or “old-fashioned” ingredients.
Whole grains are popular and it’s pretty easy to find great simple whole grain products. I’d much rather have my kids eat my butter, sugar, and white flour chocolate chip cookies than anything made with a box of sugar-free Jell-O. It’s all of my tips, tricks, recipes, and thoughts on how to feed your family well, all in one place.
Taking the planning out of life changes will make it attainable, reachable, and so much less of a headache. Kelly is a master meal planner, and today she shows us how to incorporate some of our recipes into a weekly plan.


Yet, with this same amount of money, you can actually feed your family three highly nutritious whole food meals, plus healthy snacks!
Instead, start with planning just a few meals each week, or planning meals only on the busiest days of the week. I also like to precook and freeze ground meat for use in meals such as tacos, chili, soups, etc. And rather than just serving the same thing for lunch, think of ways to repurpose your leftovers, such as turning leftover grilled chicken breasts into Greek salad wraps. Foods such as whole grains, brown rice, fruits, and veggies provide a good source of healthy carbohydrates, while Greek yogurt, cheese, eggs, meats, and beans provide much-needed protein. Remember, you don’t have to go it alone; there are lots of helpful resources out there for breaking free from the same-old, same-old lunches. No need to figure out all those crazy natural sweeteners when bees and trees got us covered. I’m more scared of all that fake stuff than normal old flour, sugar, chocolate, and butter.
I am intentional in my efforts to raise well-rounded kids who will try most anything, who enjoy green smoothies, and who will never say no to a sucker at the bank. Now you don’t have to be a short order cook and make something for your family and something different for yourself. Plus it comes with ideas and recipes for breakfast, lunch, and snacks (because we all know there’s a lot more than just dinner to plan!!!), shopping lists, must-read book list, and about a million other things that made it much too long for one blog post. Enjoy a few free recipes on the house and be excited about eating clean with your whole crew. And once you see how easy and beneficial meal planning truly is, you’ll most certainly be inspired to add even more meals to your weekly meal plan!
And, the healthy fats found in nuts, meats, avocados, and whole-milk dairy products help satisfy and maintain stamina. Take a few minutes each week to go online with your kids and seek out some new ideas to make lunch not only healthy, but fun! And congrats on being a MOMables subscriber – Laura provides a wealth of recipes and ideas that I know will really be a blessing to you as well. Eating clean is a lifestyle and I’m here to help you achieve your goals of eating better.
It just is not available to me in my tiny middle-of-nowhere town, and I can’t afford it. T, times that by 7 (the number of days in a week), and you have roughly 35 eating sessions in a week that you have to make decisions about. The recipes are printer ready and it even comes with a shopping list just waiting for you to print off! That’s why providing children a balance and variety of these foods will help ensure that they’re well-nourished and energized to learn. When you are doing well in your home, it’s ok to let them eat a little junk when they are out. If you make healthy choices 80% of the time, that means you are eating 28 out of 35 meals or snacks in a week that are real food.
Getting the entire family on board with eating well had never be easier and I’m here to show you how.



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