Most of us agree that Meal Planning is a good idea. Today and tomorrow I’ll pass on some Meal Planning Tips that Really Work. If you have the slightest interest in learning to Meal Plan stick around the next few days.
1. Just Do It
One of the biggest problems with making a Meal Plan is actually taking the time to make a plan. You don’t have to go crazy and plan every meal of the week, down to the side dish; just create a simple outline with at least a few meals you want to eat. If needed set aside 20 minutes when your kids are in bed or at practice, you could also have a few minutes of “planning time” during commercial breaks. Don’t wait until you have the perfect system in place, waiting doesn’t way off in Meal Planning. Practice will make perfect so just start where you are. You can look at some of my previous Meal Plans to get ideas.
2. Ask Your Family for Input
I’m a firm believer in getting “buy in” from family members when it comes to food. That doesn’t mean you have to leave it up to them completely. You can always ask, “do tacos sound good?” or “what’s your favorite way to eat pasta?” to get input. On many occasions I’d hand my teens Happy Herbivore Cookbooks and ask if anything looked good. They could always pick out a few things.
3. Be Predictable
There have been periods of time when I was predictable with Meal Plans. Taco Tuesday and Pizza Friday’s are a hit in lots of homes. Being predictable doesn’t mean boring. Maybe you decide to have pasta every Wednesday night, there are so many delicious combinations of pastas, veggies and sauces you could have a lot of fun. One week you could eat spaghetti with marinara, another week rotini with steamed squash and other seasonal veggies, next penne with mushrooms and roasted tomatoes, then Lasagna, after that Mac and Faux Cheese. We had a favorite casserole dish for years (before we were plant-based) and I’d make it at least every other week. It was easy and we all enjoyed it.
4. Start Small
As mentioned above, start by only planning a few meal per week. Attempt a Monday through Friday plan. This doesn’t need to be too complicated. Use a piece of paper and write Monday: Burritos, Tuesday: Tacos, Wednesday: Stir Fry, etc. You can add more details if you’d like. For example, Monday: Burritos with pinto beans, cilantro rice, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, corn and avocado. Even if you need to open can of beans and heat some prepackaged rice you have a healthier meal that most of the restaurant options. It will also cost less.
Come back tomorrow to catch Part 2 of Meal Planning Tips the Really Work!