Meal Planning 101

Hey everyone! I just wanted to share how meal planning has seriously changed my family’s life recently, and I hope it can change yours too. Meal planning is simply planning out your meals (I do it every Sunday for the week) and prepping some items for easy access throughout the week.

Being a mom to two small children has taught me how to multitask to the fullest and meal planning has helped me keep my nutrition on track, as well as my family’s. It’s easy to grab an unhealthy snack or swing through the drive-through when things get crazy with the kids, but if I have pre-portioned snacks and meals already made, I can simply grab them instead.

You have to take care of yourself as a mommy before you can expect to be a good mommy to those little ones! I’ve really tried to get my nutrition back on track recently, and it feels so good to eat healthy and exercise.

I first got started meal planning through Beachbody, and used their container system at first. Once I got the hang of how many calories and what types of foods I was supposed to eat throughout the day, I decided it was easier to portion things out on my own.

They have some great resources on their website here that you should check out if you need help!

I also love this meal planning guide from My Fitness Pal. You can find it here!

In this post, I am going to lay out how I meal plan, and keep in mind that everyone likes to stay organized in their own way. I am a very visual person so I love Pinterest boards and writing out my meal plan for the week in my planner.

Here is how I meal-plan every Sunday: 

  1. Write down what I want to make for dinner for every night of the week.

  1. Make a grocery list with ingredients from those meals. Sometimes I type it, but most times I just jot it down. I also like to organize my list based on where I can find them in the grocery store (dairy, bread etc.). You can find some of my favorite recipes on my Pinterest page here. I love 21-Day Fix Recipes because they have everything planned out for you as far as calories go, etc. but I also have some of my favorite family recipes in a cookbook as well. If I see something I like on the Food Network, I search for it in their awesome App and save it there too!

*How we make meals that we love healthier – use brown rice or whole wheat pasta, include lots of veggies, exclude bread from meals, use olive oil and less salt and butter to cook with!

2. More importantly than dinner, I LOVE to prep healthy snacks and lunch for the week! I usually have one thing every day of the week. This week it was a rice bowl with black beans.

I sautéed green, yellow, and red peppers, onions, and mushrooms in olive oil. Then added black beans and voila!

I portioned out the veggies and brown rice in these cute containers, and put them in the fridge.

Then, when I am ready to eat them, I microwave for a few minutes, and add plain Greek yogurt and salsa on top. It fills me for the whole day!

I must add, if we are out and about or I feel like having something else for lunch, OR if Chris is going to be home late I sometimes will eat this for dinner. I just love having pre-made options that are quick and easy to heat up!

3. Prepping snacks – We usually hard boil 24 eggs for the week, make some kind of muffin or protein ball, or sometimes granola for the week as well. It really helps keep you on track to make healthy choices!

Check out this post that includes my favorite Shakeology balls!

Now for the baby aspect of this post! I’d be lying if I said that my toddler ate every single meal I made, especially since we’ve really been eating cleaner these days. Unfortunately I have a picky eater on my hands and I’ve decided to not let it bother me as much as it used to! We always offer  what we are eating at dinner to James, and he usually eats an aspect of the meal, but I don’t mind making him something else if he doesn’t like it after taking a taste.

Here’s an example of a meal that he would love! I like to meal plan for him a little bit too, by chopping veggies or fruits and planning out what he is going to eat for the week. It’s very easy since he really only likes a small variety of things right now!

Stay tuned for my meal-planning guide, baby style, as I make some of my favorite homemade baby purees. So exciting that Ella will be 6 months next week! I love experimenting with different tastes when they are young and excited about food :).

I hope you enjoyed this quick guide to meal planning, and I hope you will give it a try. I feel much  more organized, healthy, and energized now that I am filling my body with healthy choices and planning out our meals in advance!

How does your family meal plan? I’m open to suggestions!

 

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