Meal Planning Guide for Families

Posted in Home and Garden

Meal Planning Guide for Families

Juggling your everyday work routine and after-school activities can make it hard to prepare meals for the family. Families that are always on the go usually end up turning to restaurants and fast-food eateries as it is more convenient.

However, studies show that families who consume fast food meals are likely to develop unhealthy eating habits and are at high risk for obesity and developing chronic illnesses. That said, preparing healthy and nutritious meals for your family is much better.

What is meal planning?

Meal planning is the act or process of planning several meals for yourself or the family ahead of time. We may see meal planning as a daunting task but it is easier than most of us think, although it may take a little time and effort until you get used to it. In the long run, meal planning can help reduce mealtime stress.

Here are a few reasons why you should start planning meals for the whole family.

  • Meal planning allows you to have control over the ingredients used in preparing meals at home.
  • Meal planning keeps you on track on with the family’s health goals.
  • Meal planning is cost-effective compared with takeout.
  • Meal planning allows you to use available ingredients in the pantry, thus, prevents food spoilage and waste.
  • Meal planning saves you time going to the grocery
  • Meal planning relieves the stress of last-minute cooking.

Are you ready to embark on this journey? Here are simple meal planning tips that you can follow:

  1. Make a food budget and write the list of food that your family likes to eat.
  2. Write a weekly meal plan. For beginners, you can start with a one-week or two-week cycle and work your way up as you see fit.
  3. Plan a menu for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner.
  4. Know the schedule of each family member so you’ll know which meal should be prepared at home or eaten out.
  5. Stock up on pantry items like pasta, canned soup, and freezer foods.
  6. Use a slow-cooker for one-pot meals.
  7. Cook in batches and prepare separate meals for the week.
  8. Opt for simple recipes that you know and learn at least one new recipe per week, if needed.
  9. Ask for help from your spouse or kids and involve them in the planning and preparation.
  10. Last, but certainly not least, be flexible and have a backup plan. Sometimes, things don’t happen the way you want them and it’s just impossible to prepare meals. Have a list of go-to restaurants that can serve healthy meals for the whole family.

Developing healthy eating habits is beneficial for the whole family. By planning your meals, you give your family the best nutrition they need by providing them a wide range of food choices. At the same time, you are also providing more value for your money.

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