The best tips to start healthy meal planning
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Healthy meal planning is hard!
One thing I constantly heard from friends and old clients was they had trouble planning healthy meals, so allow me to share my healthy meal planning tips that I use for my family.
- Grab your planner and a notebook (or you can grab my meal planning template here!)
- Plan dinners first
- Plan meals you will want to cook
- Create a board or book of your favorite, easy recipes that your family enjoys.
Grab your planner and notebook and start meal planning
This is one of the most important elements, in my opinion. First look at your calendar for the week. Do you have any late appointments? Maybe the kids have practice? Have a day that will be especially exhausting? Plan meals according to these things. When I worked 12-hour shifts as an ER nurse, I never had time to cook big complicated meals and if I did not plan accordingly, I ended up ordering pizza and my waistline suffered.
If the kids have practice, have a meal planned that takes 15 or 20 minutes, something you know you can make quickly. You may also realize that it is impossible to cook, so maybe you need to plan dinner the night before that can be doubled to have leftovers the night after. You have to plan according to the time you have.
Trust me you will fail if you are not prepared with quick and easy recipes.
Plan dinners first
Now, I know dinners may be the hardest part of your meal plan, but that is the idea. Plus if you know what is for dinner, maybe you know you can have leftovers for lunch and that saves you from agonizing over what you will take for lunches every day next week at work. I also find, once I get dinners out of the way, the rest is pretty easy to plan!
Plan meals you know your family with enjoy
Make sure you really like the recipes you have planned. I remember when I first started my health journey, I planned Salmon for dinner. Now Salmon is probably my least favorite meal ever, I have never said “Man I cant wait to have salmon for dinner!” So when I saw it on the schedule guess what I did? I procrastinate with dinner, then it was too late and I ate some crap I could scrounge up and the kids probably had pizza rolls (Parenting done right, not really I am kidding…or am I?). All I am saying is plan meals that you will look forward to and actually enjoy.
I encourage if you are trying new meals, especially as a busy working mom, you do that on the weekend or with a really good and efficient backup plan (not pizza rolls, don’t be like me!).
Have a collection of recipes
I absolutely love using Pinterest for inspiring recipes that I can cook over and over again. Maybe create a board for all the dinners you want to try, then pin ones you tried that are 30 minutes or less. Whatever you do, have an arsenal of recipes that fit your time.
In the end, find recipes that your whole family can enjoy but that is easy for you to make without adding a great deal of stress to your already busy life. Use a notebook, a meal planning template, or a chalkboard to write down your meals and plan the week.
Want to see what my meal plan looks like for the week? Comment below, or sign up for my email newsletter to see when I post my meal plan!