If you dread the weekly shop or feel like your typing “ideas for dinner” into Google every other night then you NEED to read this article.
A question that comes up more times that I can count is ‘how do I meal plan for my family’? And I’m here to tell you it’s not nearly as tricky or time consuming as you might think! In fact, when you follow this simple guide you will SAVE TIME, MONEY and quite possibly your sanity too.
You can even jump online and order your groceries from the comfort of your home once you have your meal planning sorted!
Meal planning is, in simple language, thinking about (and planning) ahead of time what you and/or your family want to eat for the following day/week/month.
Meal planning saves time and money because you know exactly what you need to buy BEFORE you hit the grocery store. It leaves less room for the “ooh that looks like a fun ingredient that I’ll buy and probably never use” and more room for smart sustainable shopping (ie buying only what you need and will actually use).
Let me break it down for you so you get excited to meal plan each week!
Here’s a Nutrition Coach’s guide on how to make meal planning SUPER SIMPLE:
- Give everyone in your family a piece of paper and a pen. If you have young children you might need to help them.
- Divide your paper into four columns and label them as BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DINNER and SNACKS.
- Spend 10 minutes writing down your favourite, most loved, most enjoyed and most practical meals and even meals that you haven’t yet made but want to try. You’ll find the ones that come to mind first are probably already on high rotation in your household. If you have young children, write down their favourites – even better if they are able to share with you what they love.
- When your time is up bring your lists together as a family and grab a new piece of paper.
- Label the new piece of paper (or pieces of paper if you have big lists) as you labelled the original paper (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks). This will now be your MASTER LIST.
- Start by writing down any duplicate meals on the MASTER LIST. These are likely the meals your family loves and eats often. Clear winners.
- Continue adding meals from the individual lists to the MASTER LIST until you have at least 10 options for each meal time.
- Grab your favourite recipe books (Nourished in 30 is PERFECT for this exercise) and add in any recipes you want to try.
And tah-dah! You now have a MASTER LIST that you can meal plan from each week.
You can adapt your MASTER LIST as needed, adding new meals you want to try and removing meals with the seasons, dietary requirements or new preferences. It’s really that simple.
Grab out a meal plan guide (like the one at the back of Nourished in 30) and write down the meals you want to have the following week using your MASTER LIST. See how easy it is to choose when you have a list of the meals you and your family love right there in front of you!
Once you’ve got your meal plan, write out any ingredients you need that you don’t yet have and head to the grocery store with confidence! You’ve just saved yourself time, money and sanity – because your family will likely actually eat the meals prepared!
What are your tips for meal and menu planning for your family? I’d love to know!
If you need a COMPLETE WELLNESS GUIDE with me available to answer your questions for an entire month then make sure you grab a copy of our EBOOK WELLNESS PROGRAM! We cover everything from meal and menu planning to Nutrition 101, dealing with stress, reading food labels, body love and positivity, eating out and how to eat healthy when those around you don’t, just to name a few.
Krissy Ropiha is a Certified Nutrition and Health Coach and Psychology graduate, passionate about supporting, inspiring and empowering busy mums to take back control of their health, get nourishing meals on the table in less than 30 minutes and feel confident in their own unique body.
Strive for nourishment, not perfection.