Meal Planning Tips that Really Work…part 1

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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.

 Meal Planning Tips

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!

Meal Planning

Comments

  1. Kim Brewer says:

    It’s so funny that you posted this now…I am a firm believer in meal plans. Last week, my meal plan was super easy since there were so many recipes I wanted to try. This week, I didn’t have a plan just because I feel like I can’t decide on what I want to eat. I feel like it’s been much tougher during meal times because you’re struggling with the decision when it’s time to eat. My biggest struggle is trying to find plant based meals that my 1 year old twins will want to actually eat. They seem to have an aversion to anything veggie related. I have to do a lot of blending.

    Thank you so much for this blog and your recipes. I have been following you for awhile since we went plant based last June. It’s so nice to know we’re not the only ones out there doing this kind of thing. I would totally join your Healthy Cravings group if we didn’t live in Michigan. Thanks again!

    • HI Kim! I run into the same dilemma when I don’t plan. When I know what we are eating I’m better at getting an early start on it. When I don’t know what we are going it eat I wait around until it’s too late to cook most things. We have a few standby items that can be make fairly quickly.

      I don’t have a problem blending things up for 1 year old’s. I know you’d prefer them to just eat the veggies regular but if they are being exposed to them now I think they will adapt to them well later. My youngest always loved whole beans but the older one still only likes them pureed. I remember them making huge messes every meal time, realistically they still do. :)

      I wish I could take Healthy Cravings on the road! There are so many readers I’d love to meet! If I ever make it to Michigan I’ll let you know! :)

  2. I love the be predictable tip.. I always feel like I can never do repeats, which stresses me out when finding what to make. But there are a lot of different ways to do the same thing!

    • It makes it soooo much easier. I try to mix things up on this blog and try new recipes. Before my blogging days I was much more predictable and probably a little boring. :) It definitely takes the stress off.

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