Writing down all the things that are coming up for the week is a great visual for figuring out how to plan ahead. This is also a way to work through any potential barriers. Your week may look different depending on what’s happening in your home at any given time. With that in mind, write down how your upcoming week is looking and start coming up with some easy, healthy meals that you have used in the past or would like to try.
It can help to break down meal planning and prepping into two separate tasks to make things less overwhelming. Writing out the plan, creating your list and shopping can be done on one day and preparing the meals can be done the next. Alternately, you can also prep and cook meals twice in a week. For example, on a Sunday and Wednesday. You will find what works best for you based on you and your family’s scheduled needs through trial and error.
Here are some ideas on how you can create meal plans:
- Create a schedule of meal plans based on themes—for example, meatless Mondays, pasta on Tuesdays, sandwiches on Wednesdays, salads on Thursdays, fish on Fridays, quiche on Saturdays, slow-cooker meals on Sundays.
- Each house member can choose a meal or two they want to have that week—if you live with others, get them involved! This is also a wonderful way to get kiddos in the kitchen, and excited about trying new foods, as well as utilizing skills that they learn in school (math, science, home economics, history, etc).
- Meal plan according to what you have at home—go “shop” in your fridge, freezer, and pantry to see what you can make for the week out of what you already have.
- Meal plan according to seasons—salads and cooler foods are great for warmer seasons, while warm foods are perfect for the colder months.
- Meal plan according to a new or favorite cookbook—this is great way to finally break into that cookbook you have been itching to try, or into some old favorites