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. A good healthy eating plan involves two elements a€“ firstly an understanding of healthy eating and secondly, good planning.
Since having children, I’ve always been battling weight loss and having the “perfect” body again.
Carrying the last pregnancy, twins in fact, I had gained almost 50 pounds, although you couldn’t tell it by looking at me so much! We signed ourselves up for a gym membership, some personal training sessions and we were off! We had started a clean eating lifestyle – nothing white, nothing processed and nothing packaged. After a summer of eating poorly, I finally sat down yesterday for a couple of hours and planned out a healthy week meal plan for a family of six. I had all of the notes and handouts from the nutritionist that I had seen at the gym in the past as well as some recipes I had printed off from the internet for school lunch ideas. I have recently stopped running (due to laziness mainly) but coupled with this and possibly my low thyroid condition coming back again, I had noticed I was gaining weight. At that point, I had talked many times about getting back to our eating clean diet but just hadn’t made the time to sit down and get it planned. After two hours of sitting in front of computer, with a pen and paper and nutrition handouts, I planned our menu. Since I have started this better eating menu and have gotten back to my running, I feel much better and have lost a total of 8.5 lbs in a month! It is very rewarding to have your children eating a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner and teaching them how to make nutritious choices.
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? After two years of running around with my twins and being so busy with raising four young children, my husband and I both decided that it was about time to lose weight and get back to eating healthy. The results were phenomenal and my husband and I probably both lost about twenty pounds each over a year’s time. We lasted on this quite some time before we went back to eating the same way we had before. With my pen and paper, I planned a menu for one week and we will duplicate the same menu for my second week also.
I also took into count that I ate terribly throughout the summer with many carbohydrate filled foods, like burgers, hotdogs, corn on the cob to name a few. After having a BBQ with friends and eating processed burgers with white buns, potato salad (yummy), and corn on the cob, I went to bed early with some Pepto Bismol because I had a sore tummy and even worse than the usual dull ache I had been experiencing. After the barbecue night, I knew that I finally had to make the change and get back to a healthy and nutritious meal plan for the entire family. Reproduction of content, including images, in whole or in part without permission is strictly forbidden. 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.
We still continued eating whole wheat and all the whole grains that we had already implemented and still continue to drink skim milk.
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.
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