Meal planning can be a fantastic time & money-saving activity. But actually DOING it can be painful! I know it!
Time is so precious, who wants to sit around and actually do it when there are a million more fun things to do. So grab your coffee (or a glass of wine) and let me help you break it down to make meal planning as PAINLESS as possible and help you create your own healthy family meal plan.
1. Cook Once Eat Thrice
Yes, I said it. I want you to literally make a big batch of something super easy and use it in the next three meals. My go-to here is sheet pan oven-roasted chickpeas or I like to batch cook a Costco Family Pack of Organic Chicken Thighs and use it in:
2. Batch Prep Your Grains
Another short-cut I like to use when creating an easy family meal plan is to batch cook some grains and starches. Roast up a tray of sweet potatoes, use a rice cooker to cook a pot of brown rice or quinoa, boil up an entire box of pasta and toss only with olive oil so it’s ready to rock. I also have a pack of corn tortillas in my fridge at all times for easy quesadillas. The best news with grains and starches is that they FREEZE well! So you can batch cook and freeze in labeled containers in your freezer for a grab and go grain.
3. Take Short-Cuts With Your Veggies & Fruits
Now I know Mama always said not to take short-cuts but I promise you will thank me here.
Buy boxes of prewashed kale or spinach to throw into soups, pasta sauce, or stews.
Costco has great veggie platters which can be used to stock school lunches or use the prewashed broccoli or cauliflower for a sheet pan of roast veggies.
Don’t forget frozen: they are salt-free and picked at their peak ripeness! We love frozen riced cauliflower and add it to curries and soups, edamame pods make a great protein choice in salads and mixed root veggies than can be cooked from frozen!
Frozen pomegranate seeds or berries make smoothies or breakfast bowls easy! No mess either.
4. Give Yourself A Break!
I like to make a Sunday-Thursday calendar and leave the weekends open for whatever may happen.
Here are four meals that I usually include in my 30 Day Family Meal Plan:
Here is a sample of my meal planning:
Family meal planning in North Vancouver is my jam! If you need a place to get started check out my free meal plan sampler here and options for meal planning for any budget here.