I’m writing this blog mostly as a reminder to myself, because I know how beneficial meal planning is to eating more colourfully, reducing stress and restoring household harmony.
I’m going to plan two weeks worth of meals. Here is the what and why of my meal planning.
Why do I meal plan?
- Reduces my stress. Knowing what to cook and knowing that I have the ingredients in the house makes life so much easier, especially at 5pm with 4 tired kids in tow. Personally I find the thinking about what to cook, worse than the actual cooking. And you have to do it everyday!
- Helps me ensure my family have a balanced diet. Being organised is really the key to healthy eating. The weeks I don’t meal plan, I often forget to put in a fish dish or we don’t eat nearly as many vegetarian meals as I would like. This way I can plan for the dietary goals I am currently working on.
- Saves time and money at the supermarket. When I meal plan, I shop from a shopping list. I’m good at sticking to the list. I head to the supermarket every 1-2 weeks and the fruit shop and butcher about twice a week. When I don’t meal plan, I find myself at the supermarket nearly every day. Working without a list means there is much more room for ‘extras’ to sneak into the trolley.
- The kids know what’s for dinner each night. I actually write our meal plan on the kitchen splash back (I used to put the meal plan on the fridge). The kids read it and look forward to their favorite meals and complain less about a less favourite meal. Because the menu is written down they tend not to ask “Is this all, can I have something else?”
How do I meal plan?
- I plan my busy days first. The ones where I am out of the house working or the ones where there is a mass of kids activities. I plan quick, easy meals on these days
- I fill in the gaps and rotate between proteins and grains. Rotating fish, eggs, beans, red meat and chicken. Grains can vary between potatoes, pasta, rice, polenta, quinoa, couscous
- Plan a new dish when I know I have time
- Aim to balance my plate with 1/2 veggies, 1/4 grains and 1/4 meat/eggs/beans/fish
This is my family meal plan. What to know how other’s plan. Enjoy this blog about meal planning of four working mums.
Example meal plan
Monday: Pumpkin soup, salmon patties, kale chips and salad
Tuesday: Tofu stir-fry noodles
Wednesday: Moroccan chicken and veggie gratin
Thursday: Soy sausages and steamed veggies
Friday: Porcupine meatballs on carrot and zucchini noodles
Saturday : Home-made pizza
Sunday: Oven baked fish and chips with salad
Monday: Roast chicken and veggies, zucchini fritters
Tuesday: Slow cooked lamb and apricots on polenta
Wednesday: Zucchini and cauliflower soup, leftover stews made into pies
Thursday: Tuna pasta and salad
Friday: Mexican wraps (beef strips, guacamole, salad veggies, cheese) on home-made tortillas
Saturday: Try a new recipe: TBC (bean, egg or fish based)
Sunday: Gozeleme and salad
Ok, I’ll now print this off and put on the fridge and create a shopping list.
What’s on your menu this week?