meal plans

 

Here are 5 meal planning ideas to help you be prepared for cooking and have less stress when you realize you have everything you need to make great meals.  Meal planning is important if you have a family to cook for or if you only shop every few weeks.  I must admit I am not good at deciding what I want to eat too far in advance so I usually only have a weekly meal plan.

Planning ahead will mean you will not have to resort to take-away and so will have a more healthy meal for yourself and your family.

Here are some menu planning tips to help you plan your meals:

  1. As the graphic says involve the kids in planning your meals.  You know then that will eat it as they will be choosing food they like to eat.  They can also help out in preparing the food for cooking for you or actually cooking the meal itself.
  2. Have a stocked pantry and freezer.  Keep essentials like flour, oats, pasta and canned foods you use often like tomatoes, soups, tuna or salmon and frozen meats, fruit and other vegetables.
  3. Cook 2 meals at once and freeze them.  I always double my recipes so I have another meal for later that week.  The saves me time and often the food tastes better the second night and that applies especially to casserole type dishes.
  4. Check your calendar to see what is going on that week and the next.  This way you can plan your weekly dinner menu to take into account the kids sports, your yoga class, a school presentation or working back  late.  This is where step 3 comes in again or you can plan to have something simple like soup and a salad that night.
  5. Keep your recipes simple.  You don’t have to create gourmet meals every night.  Just save that for when you have visitors or special occasions.  Keep meal plan ideas simple and use trusted recipes all the family loves.

These are only 5 meal planning ideas but I hope they start you thinking of other ways you can plan out your meals so you are well prepared each week.  It is also stressful if you have to decide at the last minute what you plan to cook.  Also if you have your meals planned you will find you eat more healthy. It is especially important when using slow cooking methods to plan ahead and start the meal so that it will be cooked when you want it.

If you have other tips please leave a comment below to share so we can all benefit and I would love to hear from you.