Meal Planning Strategies
What is for dinner? This question can be a daunting one to answer day after day. That’s why we have researched a few meal planning strategies for you.
These strategies can take away a bit of stress, save you money, and add some healthy habits to your home.
Make a menu on the calendar. Simply planning your meals ahead of time can help you plan healthy meals and avoid making last minute stops for fast food or takeout. Create a grocery list based on the ingredients you will need for each recipe.
Pick a Flavor Theme
Some families like to spice up their meal planning strategies with flavor profiles for each day of the week. Consider using these fun flavor themes to plan weekly meals for your family.
- Tex-Mex Monday
- Mediterranean Monday
- Traditional Tuesday (American Favorites)
- Taco Tuesday
- Wok Wednesday
- Wing Wednesday
- Italian Thursday
- Thai Thursday
- Friday Cookout/Grill
- Cajun Fish Friday
- Crock Pot or Casserole Saturday
- Soup and Sandwich Saturday
- Seafood Sunday
- Soul Food Sunday
Plan by Nutrition
If you are looking to create a healthy habit for your meals, then planning your meals according to the nutrients in each serving may be the right strategy for you.
Include a type of protein, sources of fiber, energy giving complex carbs, and foods rich in vitamins and minerals. We aren’t going to tell you exactly what nutrients you need for your body… we will leave that to the experts. This meal planning strategy is for people who really want to feed their body, not just fill your stomach.
Read more about “Immune Boosting Foods” in one of our previous blog articles.
You probably have some favorite family recipes that you eat on a regular basis. The problem is that we can sometimes get bored of the same recipes, if we have them too often. Here are a few strategies to mix up the favorite family recipes, and avoid getting in a rut.
- Write each of your families favorite recipes on a Popsicle stick and place them in a jar. To plan your meals for the week pull a stick out of the jar for each day of the week. If you want to avoid making the same recipes over and over, place the used recipes in a separate jar and don’t draw from that jar until all of the recipes have been used.
- If you have picky eaters in the house and they are old enough to cook, have them cook for the whole family one or two nights a week. This responsibility will be an opportunity to learn a great deal about food preparation and flavors.
- Trying new recipes is a great way to inspire a love of cooking and meal planning. Dive into the wealth of culinary recipes online and the many books that are available for finding new flavors. Once or twice a month (or as often as you want) plan to try a new recipe for dinner. If variety is the spice of life, get spicy with your meal planning strategy to keep it interesting.
Have a Leftover Day
This is an easy way to give yourself a break. Have leftover day one night a week, or take your dinner leftovers to school/work for lunch the next day. This meal planning strategy saves you a little time, and prevents the habit of wasting food.
Alternatively, some people prepare all of their meals for the week at one time. Freezing casseroles that are easy to pop into the oven after work, can be great way to use time well. Preparing nutritionally balanced lunches into individual “grab and go” containers, is a meal planning strategy that can help you stay on track with your goals of healthy eating as well as saving time.
Each of these ideas for meal planning strategies can be used individually or in combination. Choose to plans that is the best fit for you and your family.
At TexasLending.com we enjoy sharing information for families to be happy and healthy. You can find current mortgage and home buying advice in our blog, but also ideas for home ownership and families. Follow our Facebook page to see our latest blog updates.
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