Sunday, September 4, 2011

Menu Planning

Menu planning is super important for eating healthy. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. So what happens on Monday night if you've had a really long day and you don't have anything planned for dinner? You might just stop and pick something up, you might have a microwave dinner (Ick, don't ever use a microwave, just get it out of your house), you might throw in a frozen pizza. All of which are not good options. Though, arguably a frozen pizza if it's organic, whole wheat and baked in the oven isn't terrible for you. But still not great all the time. So sitting down at the beginning of the week and making a menu is essential. It'll probably only take you 10-30 minutes of your time. I keep a list of meals the whole family enjoys so if I'm having trouble coming up with meals I just scan over the list and add to my menu. It's a lifesaver. I'm constantly adding to it as we try new meals we love. There are many different ways to menu plan. I'll show you what I do here. Find what works for you and do it, every week. Or whenever you shop. I make a menu for two weeks at a time. Here's my current one:
I write the days of the week along the left side of the paper. If we have any activities in the evening on any nights I write that down so I can plan accordingly. Three days a week for the next two weeks we have swimming lessons in the evening. Which means I will want a quick meal that no one is going to give me trouble eating quickly. As I insert a meal on a day I will write down on the right side of the paper what I need to get from the store. I go through the two weeks inserting meals and making my grocery list. When I'm done, I transfer my list onto another piece of paper sorting by sections of the store:
This makes shopping quick and easy...well I wouldn't say easy, I hate grocery shopping, but "easier". I add any additional items I need, and my list is done. I have meals planned for two weeks. I'm flexible, if I come to a day and just don't feel like cooking what I have planned I will pick something from another day and swap them.
So if you don't already do it, start menu planning, it makes eating healthy meals much easier!

2 comments:

  1. This is something that I've been meaning to do and have just never started doing! I really need to, though, because I waste so much time trying to figure out what's for dinner. I have a tough time finding meals that all four kids like. I'm going to check out some of your recipes! :)

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  2. My husband used to always tell me I needed to make menus because we'd sit around trying to figure out what to make. I never wanted to do it because I was afraid I wouldn't "feel" like what was on the menu for a night. But I've been doing this for 4 years now and it hasn't been a problem. If I really don't want to make what's scheduled, I pick something else. I couldn't shop without doing this, I would be lost!

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