Why Meal Planning Matters

by Nikky Manausa on January 31, 2010

Why You Should Plan Meals for Your Family

It’s Wednesday night.  Do you know what’s for dinner?

I have found that when I take the time (and trust me, it’s not a lot of time!) to create a weekly list of our meals, our family eats healthier.  Knowing in advance what is for dinner simplifies our evening routine and helps to keep us on a healthy track. 

Benefits of Weekly Meal Planning:

  • You  spend less money at the grocery store because you follow a list
  • You can spend even less money if you plan your week around weekly grocery sales
  • You only make one weekly trip to the grocery store
  • You save time because you are not contemplating what to make for dinner
  • You are less tempted to eat fast food
  • You take charge of your family’s health. You choose healthy meals!
  • Your family looks forward to their “favorite” meal night

Considerations Before Planning

  • Get your family involved in the planning.  What do they want to eat?  What do they want to help make?
  • Make a list of each day of the week and what you are having
  • Be sure to consider scheduled evening activities. Do not plan a meal that takes an hour to make when you know you will not be home until 6:30pm.
  • It’s a plan, not a contract.  If the kids say, “I don’t want tacos tonight!”, then let them choose something from another planned night. No need to become the dinner Nazi!
  • Almost anything can be made healthy with some adaptations or modifications to the recipe.  Click here for my list of suggested reduced-fat choices.

Keeping it Simple

  • Try to keep your meal preperation and cook time under an hour.  If it takes much longer than that, you might be more tempted to order pizza. :)
  • Adopt the “it doesn’t have to be fancy” theory.  There is nothing wrong with having hot sandwiches, or my favorite, breakfast for dinner!
  • Consider buying a rotisserie chicken when you shop.  You can eat it as is, or use it in tons of quick-fix recipes.  Rotisserie chickens are cheap ($5-7) and delicious!
  • Consider a routine such as, “Monday Mexican”, “Wednesday Crockpot”, “Sunday Spaghetti”, etc…

Sample Weekly Family Meal Plan

Help your family enjoy a healthy, simple, and delicious life!

 

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary Lou Manausa January 31, 2010 at 2:50 pm

I’m impressed with your sample weekly menu and plan to make the New Orleans red beans and rice dinner soon. I’ve never made it before (I’m a transplanted yankee) and its recipe sounds delicious.

Nikky Manausa January 31, 2010 at 3:21 pm

Mama Lou, be sure to eat the red beans and rice on Monday. :)

Sheila January 31, 2010 at 8:59 pm

I’m glad you have Pizza in there, because in my book, Pizza is the perfect food. It has all 4 food groups and satisfies the soul!

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