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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. E-Mails once a weekSample meal plan, free recipes, and all the tips you need to make school lunches and meals easier.We respect your privacy. Since becoming a Mom of 2, I've found that grocery shopping is nowhere near as easy as it used to be. I created a little space in a storage room of our basement for extra things that wouldn't fit in the pantry. My meal plan is hanging on the side of my refrigerator along with my cleaning schedule and a list pad. Now, we do go out to eat sometimes and there are days that get crazy and we just eat leftovers. 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? That means 1 trip to Costco and 1 trip to the grocery store at the beginning of the month, then a mid-month grocery trip just to restock milk and produce.
I was in desperate need to start one again to budget right and had no idea how to go about it.
Secondly, it took you this long to create your current eating habits, and it’s highly unlikely that you’re going to be a changed person overnight. She has a bachelors degree in Dietetics, has been NASM certified in personal training, and specializes in weight loss.
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. Some things I didn't even open that month, but as least I didn't have to go back out for anything.
Then, I go to the grocery store, followed by a couple hours getting everything sorted through and put away that night. January 1st rolls around and you’re determined to make this the magic day that’s going to undo the 20, 30, or 40+ years of old eating habits.
She is a realist, doesn’t believe in diets, believes strongly in chocolate, and maintaining a healthy balance in life. 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.
That’s why providing children a balance and variety of these foods will help ensure that they’re well-nourished and energized to learn. Sure, you “accidentally” had cake for breakfast and a margarita for lunch in the same day (in this scenario, “you” may hypothetically mean “I”), but that doesn’t mean your whole day is ruined. I blame it on the 7 months we spent in sweden where the fridges are freezers are super duper tiny! So remember, balance is key, and below is a week-long diet plan that can help get you started.
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