5 Tips To Make Family Meal Planning A Breeze
Family meal planning will save you time, energy, and stress during the week. Best of all, it enables you to serve well-balanced dishes to your loved ones.
But it's a challenging feat. Every week, you have to sit down and contemplate what to prepare. The challenge is to factor in everyone's preferences and ensure your family is satisfied with every meal.
If you're wondering, “How can I make family meal planning easier?” we have the answers. Below, we've outlined our top 5 tips for you.
5 Simple Family Meal Plan Tips
Weekly family meal planning can pay dividends when done right. It simplifies your weekly grocery shopping and motivates your children to eat better. Start your journey by following these tips:
1. Make a list of recipes
Over the years, you and your partner have likely mastered delicious dishes. Write them down. Create your own cookbook if you like.
Having a collection of go-to meal ideas makes it easy to fill in your weekly meal planning template. You also don't have to rack your brain or Google the ingredients when making your grocery list. Just look at your “cookbook,” and you're good to go.
If your family loves variety and enjoys trying new foods, try experimenting with a new dish every week. If it works out well, simply add it to your recipe bank and meal planner.
Aside from your go-to dishes, include simple recipes in your weekly meal plans. Family-friendly dishes, such as ground beef spaghetti, are a snap to make.
2. Make bulk preparations and cook large quantities
Bulk prepping and cooking can help you save time. The same dishes can be spread out throughout the week when mapping out your weekly family meal plan. This way, you don't have to whip up meals day in, and day out.
Cooking can be done in one go–ideally on a weekend. Then store your dishes in the freezer.
But you don't always have to prepare them completely. Some dishes are best served fresh. Preparing the ingredients ahead of time is more than enough.
Pizza is a great example. Prepare the dough on the weekend. Then ask the kids to top the pizza on the night you plan to eat it.
You can do the same with veggies. Peel, slice, and boil them during your cooking marathon. Then, portion them before shoving them in the freezer.
3. Prepare your cooking tools and supplies
If you're serious about family meal planning, invest in the right equipment to increase your kitchen efficiency. These tools will be your new life hacks:
- Slow cooker, instant pot : Cook meat, make soup, and do complex dishes without having to keep an eye on them.
- Sheet pans, loaf pans, muffin trays: These tools can help you prepare various dishes, from egg cups to sheet pan dinners.
- Salad chopper, food processor, good set of knives: Rusty cutlery can be frustrating and time-consuming, not to mention dangerous to use. If you want to mince your ingredients quickly, salad choppers and food processors are your best bets.
- Measuring cups and spoons: Eyeballing the ingredients works sometimes. But some dishes need exact science.
- Food containers (mason jars, food-grade glass containers, etc.): You need containers to store your cooked food/prepared ingredients.
You don't start a new job or hobby without preparing for it. Gear yourself up with these tools for easy family meal planning.
4. Include healthy snacks and cheat meals
Following a family meal plan can help you teach your family how to make healthy food choices. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't enjoy yourselves.
Your kids will grow tired of chomping down steamed green beans and other veggies. Think of healthy snacks that you can incorporate into your healthy family meal plan. Examples are no-bake energy bites, bananas with peanut butter, and yogurt with chocolate bits.
Don't forget to reward your family for sticking to the plan. Take a cheat day now and then. For instance, plan to eat out on Fridays. It's a good way to skip the hassle of meal prep after a busy week of work and school.
Remember: Healthy family meal plans don't always have to be restrictive. Make it fun to make it sustainable.
5. Sign up for a family meal plan service
Some days (weeks, and months) are busier than others. Get an expert to do your family meal planning if you lack the time or energy to do it yourself.
Family meal plan services can cleanse your family's palate from the repetitive dishes you serve. If you're a brood of adventurous eaters, every dish will delight and nourish you.
This tip is also handy for parents who are still exploring the benefits of family meal planning. It's important to see how a family meal plan works and how your children feel about it. Should you decide to DIY it, you'll be prepared.
Ease Into Family Meal Planning with Our Help
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