As dinnertime quickly approaches, you begin to worry: What do I serve tonight…again! If you’re concerned about what your family is eating every night, you may want to consider meal planning. Meal planning will help change the way you eat and will even change your grocery shopping habits. I plan our meals every Sunday and here’s why.
You will eat healthier
How many times have you quickly grabbed something from the drive thru or ordered a pizza instead of preparing a healthy meal? Meal planning eliminates the need to rely on last minute unhealthy options or opting for unhealthy pre-packaged meals.
It will save time & money
When you plan your meals in advance, you save time and money by eliminating the need to run to the grocery store several times per week to pick up last minute ingredients. You will always have the groceries you need! Planning ahead also allows you to cook things in bulk and freeze for a future meal or to use as part of a meal later in the week.
It helps reduce stress
You race home from work hungry with just a short time to get dinner cooked and on the table. If you have a meal plan, you take care of things in advance and you will only need to do minor preparations after a long day at work.
It adds variety
Meal planning may seem boring at the time, but it will actually give your family a better variety of meals as it will help you avoid falling into the trap of eating the same meals every week! Try some new recipes and alternate them with your family’s favorites.
It prevents waste
We’ve all experienced the many “left over” containers in the fridge, which no one really wants to dig into. Planning your meals will cut down on these unwanted leftovers and the wasting of food. As you plan your meals, keep portion sizes in mind and remember that vegetables and fruits should cover half your plate, lean protein should cover a quarter, and the rest of your plate should include whole grains.
It gets the family involved
Get the whole family involved to create the weekly menu. My youngest daughter helps with recipes and taking part in the cooking. Family involvement promotes better food decisions and a meal each night that everyone can be happy with! Ask everyone in the family for a list of their favorite meals and try to include each of their faves during the week.
Why not give meal planning a try? It requires some time and creativity but will be totally worth it. It doesn’t have to be complicated. So grab a piece of paper and get to it!