These meal planning tips for beginners are sure to make a hectic family life just a little more relaxed!
I have been on a mission to start feeding our family healthier! I’ve been watching myself slowly put on weight and have hated the feeling that I have no time to focus on eating right or working out. I have two little boys and they eat a TON. Between feeding them three meals a day and cleaning up after them three meals a day I have basically turned into someone who hates meal time. I have always tried to do a little bit of meal planning so I definitely know the benefits, but this time I did a lot of research and set a step by step plan for myself. And guess what? It’s working!
Schedule First: Look at your weekly schedule first to know what nights will be busy and mark the busy nights with an X.
Autopilot Breakfast and Lunch: When you first start out with meal planning, make sure breakfast and lunch are on autopilot by having only 2-3 set options which can include leftovers.
Make a list: Make a master list of all the recipes your family likes. See what you can come up with off the top of your head.
Categorize: Put your master list into categories of 15 minute meals, slow cooker meals, freezer meals, or normal meals. This way as you meal plan, you can quickly find the type of meal that will work within your week.
Write it Down and Use Paprika: I write down my meals in my planner, and I use an AMAZING App called Paprika. It allows you to easily import recipes from URLs, automatically helps you make a grocery list, and adds the meal to a calendar. IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE! Just be sure to not get recipe happy and only add meals you’d really want to cook for your family. Otherwise you’ll scroll through week after week and feel discouraged.
Keep Sides Simple: When you’re first starting out you only get one “recipe” per day so keep the sides to 1 or 2 simple ones.