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Some Helpful Steps To Meal Planning

Some Helpful Steps To Meal Planning

Healthy meals and snacks don’t just happen on their own…You have to make the effort. Try and find the same times/days each week to do your shopping, prep and cooking and get into a good routine.

If you don’t enjoy cooking, start slowly with simple recipes and don’t think you have to be cooking meals like they do on Master Chef. Start with salads and simple dressings with grilled meats, roast meat and veggies, soups and omelettes.

Learn to be a ‘FLEXITARIAN’, don’t panic if you don’t follow recipes exactly. Feel free to get creative, swap ingredients when you need to. If the recipe calls for green beans but they look old and soggy, get something similar or if the kids don’t like green beans, go for another vegetable they do like and make it work for you and your family.

Get each family member to choose a recipe/meal they would like in the week. Maybe ask them to do a favourite and also a NEW recipe as well… use the internet to find healthy recipes, borrow recipe books from the library or from friends to get new inspiration.

Create your meal plan. Look for recipes that use some of the same ingredients so you have less waste. Plan your meals around your schedule. If you know you have to take the kids to sport on Monday nights and don’t get home till late, make dinner something easy like eggs on toast or make that a night when you can reheat something you have prepared another time. Get other family members to cook on nights when you have to work late or do any running around. There are stacks of menu plan templates to suit everyone on the internet you can print off.

Plan on saving $. Have a flick through the junk mail and see which meats, fruit and veg are on sale for the week and plan you meals around the cheapest fresh produce.

Make a shopping list. From all the recipes you are going to cook during the week. Then shop at home first. With your shopping list in hand, check the fridge, freezer and pantry and cross off anything you already have. It’s helpful to keep a running shopping list on the fridge or somewhere the whole family can access it and add things to it during the week when things are running low or get used up.

Keep a folder with all your favourite weekly meal plans and shopping lists for the future. That way you will end up with a library of all your favourite combos and the ones you know work best for the family. You can pull them out when you haven’t had a chance to make a new one.

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