In this nutrition post we are going to talk about meal planning. Meal planning doesn’t have to be hard or a hassle. Knowing how you can be more efficient may help you a lot more in the long run. Here’s how to do it…
I’m going to let you in on a meal planning secret- If you want to be a pro meal planner then you must 1st learn to master the 3 P’s which stand for Planning, Purchasing, and Preparing.
Plan: To plan a meal we should learn what everyone likes, and organize our shopping lists. Include vegetables, fruits, whole grain, protein. Add in some of those food groups you’ve been hearing all about. Be creative and be healthy.
Purchase: A good habit to start getting into (if you don’t do it already) is to check the weekly sales ads at the grocery store. If you don’t, then you’ll likely spend a lot more money when you could buy sales prices and save a lot more. Be the pro shopper at the grocery store- Use the ads, use the coupons, and save your money.
- A helpful hint is to shop on a full stomach. If you’re hungry at a grocery store, then you’ll likely buy some unhealthy snacks. IMPORTANT- STICK TO YOUR SHOPPING LIST (don’t stray away, because once you do- you’ll end up buying un-healthy things and spending more money).
Prepare: Do your prep work in advanced. Chop your vegetables and set them in a container in the fridge until you’re ready to cook with them. Remember to cook perishables 1st so they aren’t spoiled by the time you intended to cook them.
Don’t be afraid to use leftovers in your meal! If you have any leftover grilled chicken, then chop it up and make a grilled chicken salad. Or you might have a banana that has seen better days- use it for banana bread instead of throwing it away.
Involve your family when making a meal. Teach your kids how to cook- the more they learn to cook, the less they’ll depend on microwaveable meals. Make your plate colorful and nutritious, full of vegetables and fruits, grains and protein. Enjoy some milk or water along with your meal. Meal planning doesn’t have to be a hassle, it can be the time where family and creativity come together.