Meal planning is an essential piece of the puzzle when it comes to healthy eating but when life gets busy it is one of the first things to fall by the wayside 😱. The problem is that when we don’t have a plan and we don’t have healthy options available for meals and snacks we start to rely on purchased meals. Purchased meals include anything from fast food to take out, sit down restaurants, the cafeteria at work and pre-prepared meals that are grab and go at the grocery store. 🍔🍟🍕🌮 These foods are likely to be higher in calories, fat, salt and sugar than anything you will make in your own kitchen, which is why having a plan and being organized is so important.
Here are some tips to get you started with weekly meal planning:
- Sit down and make a list of your favourite meals: invite family members or roommates to help. A great strategy is to pull out some of your favourite cookbooks and give everyone a stack of sticky notes to bookmark the recipes they want to try.
- Don’t just plan one meal: plan all of your meals and snacks for each day of the week so that you don’t get talked in to going out for lunch with your co-workers or fall prey to the vending machine or the box of doughnuts being passed around the staff room mid-afternoon.
- Make a grocery list 📜: This will ensure that you buy all of the ingredients that you need to follow through with your plan for the week.
A quick google search will reveal tons of great apps and websites that can make meal planning easier. They all have different features so think about what features would make it easiest and most convenient for you to get started and go from there. One of our favourites is Cozi family organizer. It has a great meal planning feature as well as a calendar feature to help you juggle family activities and weekend plans.