One of the most important ways to maintain a real-food diet is meal planning. It might be easy to cook a quick frozen meal or head out to a restaurant when everyone is hungry. However, a little planning can help prevent this.
If you have kids, meal planning can really help them get excited about healthy foods you are cooking and learning healthy eating habits.
Meal planning has literally changed my life. It has helped reduce my stress when it come to feeding my family meals that are healthy. As well, it has made healthy eating very doable and simple for me!
Check out these 5 meal-planning methods that you should be doing!
#1 – Use a Weekly Template Each Week
To get started with meal planning, you want to use a weekly template that can help you decide what to plan for the weekly meals. You can start off by using a template with general types of foods you would cook each day of the week and the number of times you use each main food.
For instance, each week for dinner you might cook:
- Stir fry recipes
- Slow-cooker recipes
- Prepared-ahead oven recipes
#2 – Focus on the Family Favorites
As you find recipes your family enjoys, start to make them the core recipes that get reused every few weeks. You’ll want to try to round up about 20 recipes that won’t make your family bored.
You can use five of the core dinners you have collected and then two new dinners to try.
When building up your family favorites, try to find favorite dishes that use seasonal foods and rotate them with the seasons. This will help you save money on produce, but also ensuring your meals are fresh and flavorful.
#3 – Add a Bit of Flavor
You can take a basic recipe and change it completely by adding different spices. For example, add cumin and chili powder for a Mexican-style dish or curry for an Indian-inspired flavor. Basil, thyme, oregano, and garlic are great for Italian.
#4 – Taste the Flavors of the World
When looking for new meals to try, recreate recipes from around the world. You might find something that the entire family enjoys. You also might discover your newfound love for a cuisine you never tried before!
#5 – Eat Leftovers
It’s easy to grab that cereal for breakfast or make a sandwich for lunch. But an even easier time-saving way to eat health is to make extra food for dinner and serve as leftovers for breakfast and lunch. You can add most foods to an omelet for breakfast or put with a salad for lunch.
Mason-jars are perfect to make-ahead leftover meals for breakfast and lunch the next day. For instance, you can use them to make salads (put the liquid ingredients at the bottom and then meat/toppings/lettuce on the top). You can then store them in a fridge. Also use mason-jars for leftover soups and stir-fries so they can be easily reheated and put onto a plate to serve once heated up.
What are some ways you meal-plan for family meals? Share below your tips and tricks. If you have a family favorite recipe share that with us too!