Our week is often booked solid with extra-curricular activities and work so it can be difficult to make a healthy dinner. To ensure we have something healthy to eat every night we do this wonderful thing known as meal planning. We plan our meals accordingly, for example on nights when my mum is at school and I have work we plan a slow cooked meal, so we don’t have to think about it when we get home all tired and wanting nothing more than to eat.
We aim to write our meal plan on Thursday so we can do the groceries at the markets on Friday afternoon when it is quiet, but that doesn’t always go to plan, so we end up writing it Saturday morning.
If you have never planned your meals before, here are a few tips to help you go about meal planning:
- First of all, write it down!. You can buy lovely meal planners and shopping lists from places like Kikki K or Officeworks!
- Check what you have in your fridge and pantry that is close to their expiry date and plan meals based on that
- On nights you’re particularly busy, make use of your slow cooker
- Do a cook on a Sunday and prepare homemade snacks and meals for the week
- Keep a folder and/or index of your favourite recipes so they’re easy to find and plan
- Keep a stash of really quick and easy recipes
- Make use of your leftovers and eat them for lunch
- If you’re short of time, make some ‘grab and go’ breakfasts (such as chia puddings) or make smoothies the night before
- Keep non-perishable items, such as tinned tuna, or long-life snacks, such as nuts, in your locker or in your drawer at work if you run out of leftovers or forget your lunch,
- Portion out your snacks so you don’t overeat
Meal planning is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. It sets you up for the week to help ensure you have healthy nutritious food on hand and don’t reach for unhealthy snacks or fast food.