Meal Planning 101: Healthy dinners

Preface: Let me say that I hate meal planning. I hate meal planning , and that is just for me. I love to cook and plan meals but I hate meal planning. Visit us!

I used to meal-plan faithfully every other week (because that’s when I get paid), but I gave up on it a while back. There have been many “What’s for dinner?” conversations. For six months, it has been a constant conversation. It is getting old. It’s almost as old and common as meal planning. See paragraph 1. Please refer to paragraph 1.

I’m sorry. And yay! Although I am not a fan of bulk shopping, it is practical for our family budget. It’s not a great idea to bulk buy, but it is a good option for healthy spending. (And healthy dinners, too!) The effort of selecting 14 dinners is well worth it. One hour, fourteen meals, once every two weeks. I CAN DO THIS!

So. I explained WHY meal planning is important. Let me now show you how I plan meals.

You need a calendar, a pen, a piece of paper, and the wonderful internet//Pinterest//fave book of recipes to select your dinners.

Take a look at the favorites of your family. What dinners work best for your family’s preferences? You should be aware of upcoming events. Are you trying to reduce dairy or gluten consumption? Would you like to try vegetarian meals? For me, it is important that my family eats less dairy and refined sugars (ie heavy pastas or breads). You should eat more whole foods. I have started to incorporate menus that reflect these choices. I have to also consider what my daughter will eat. While she has come a long ways, she is still very particular about what she likes.

Enter the dates and the menu items you’ve chosen to fill out the calendar.

Make a shopping list using the recipes that you have selected.

Other miscellaneous items may be added for lunches, snacks, or breakfasts.

Go shopping! You can also do some meal planning for the week ahead if you’re really ambitious. I’m not as ambitious.

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