Today, together with our friends from Royal Prestige®, we want to share a key tip that will not only help you to be healthier, but also more productive. We’re talking about weekly meal planning!
There are many advantages to meal planning, such as not falling into the monotony of repeating meals, spending less by planning in advance, and saving time by not having to think about what to cook and not having to run out to grab food on the nights that you want to stay at home.
Planning your meals will help you prepare more delicious and nutritious meals for your family and will motivate you to try those recipes that have been saved for years on your Pinterest boards. Make cooking a great experience, where you can express both your creativity and your love for those close to you.
Below, we share a very practical guide, where you will find good ideas to organize your weekly meal plan with easy, healthy and delicious dishes that will save you time and money.
Create your weekly plan as a family
Ask your family if anyone has any cravings or wants to try a new recipe. You can also take the opportunity to meet as a family and discuss everyone’s favorite ingredients and how they can be prepared healthily. This way you can appease them and cook something healthy that they will love!
If you have small children, this can be very useful and fun. Involve them in the process of creating a plan and choosing the ingredients, creating healthy recipes from their favorite foods.
Organize the plan on a spreadsheet and stick it to the fridge
Create a spreadsheet with all the meals for the week organized by day and mealtime. Usually, it would be breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks between meals.
Plugging the plan into a spreadsheet will be helpful for getting organized, especially when your grocery shopping and start cooking. In addition, if at some point you will be away from home, the other members of your family will know what they must eat without needing to call your cell 10 times.
A meal plan doesn’t have to be boring
As the weeks go on, you can add new ideas and modify your plan. This way you will always be trying new recipes, and your family will not get tired of always eating the same things.
One idea that we recommend is to set aside some time during the weekend to search for recipes online. Take advantage of websites such as Cocina and Royal Prestige®, where you can find delicious, nutritious and easy-to-prepare recipes.
After creating your weekly meal plan, it’s time to make your shopping list
If you plan your week’s meals, making the grocery list will be super easy. Simply write the ingredients next to the dishes on the spreadsheet and you will have conquered two tasks in one.
In addition, this practice will help you stay on budget. When you go to the supermarket, you will know exactly what to look for, avoiding those unhealthy snacks, and when it comes time to check out, it will make a big difference to the total. Occasionally it’s okay to break the rules. Add that favorite snack to your list, enjoy it. Remember that life is short!
Healthy and tasty ideas for every meal of the day
As promised, below are several practical and healthy options for different meals that you can add to your weekly plan.
Breakfast, which will give you energy for the rest of the day
Imagine the feeling when– after sleeping for about 8 hours at night– you wake up desperately craving water and something to eat in order to continue functioning properly. Yes, we know that many people do not have breakfast when they get up, but this is a very bad idea.
According to the American Chemical Society, for a breakfast to be complete you need two basic components: some type of carbohydrate (grains, fruits and vegetables) and some protein.
It is also recommended to drink a glass of water on an empty stomach. This will help your body release toxins, as well as re hydrate the body quickly.
Lunch, a much-needed break
Noon arrives, and if you’ve had a busy morning, lunchtime can quickly pass without you even realizing it. Later, when your body alerts you that it’s hungry, is when you realize you’ve missed lunch and eat the first thing you find, often choosing a not-so-healthy option.
To stay happy and satisfied, it is better to have your week’s lunch planned and ready. A good lunch should combine fruits and vegetables in the greatest possible variety of colors; legumes and proteins, such as chicken and lentils; cereals, such as rice or potatoes; and plenty of water before and after meals.
Snacks: equally as delicious, but also healthy
For snacks, smoothies are a great idea to combine several food groups. If you put together fruits, milk and seeds, you will be getting a great dose of vitamins, proteins and healthy fats, among other things. This will also satisfy your hunger and give you instant energy.
You can also snack on a handful of nuts or dried fruits– such as almonds– or spread peanut butter over sliced banana or apple. Top with grated coconut and raisins for a perfect snack for the little ones.
End the day with a nice dinner
It is ideal to have dinner as early as possible. Do not overload your stomach and do not lie down immediately after eating in order to avoid gastrointestinal problems and to sleep better.
Try to make menu options for dinner similar to those you’ve made for lunch, but in smaller quantities and using lighter foods.
Finally, we suggest you think about weekly meals by food groups, and how many times per week you want to cook. For example: creating guidelines such as one protein per day, vegetables at all main meals, pasta for weekends, grains and legumes for lunch, four pieces of fruit a day, etc.
We know that creating a weekly meal plan can be daunting at first, but once you get the hang of it you’ll positively love it!