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5 Meal Planning Tips For Busy Families

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Meal planning is one of the best ways to keep everybody in your family fed and well nourished. Taking the time to plan your meals and prepare the ingredients can allow you to focus on your busy life and spend quality time as a family.

Getting food ready at the end of a long day can be a chore, and it is easy to reach for convenient foods such as takeout. However, thanks to meal delivery service, there are plenty of options nowadays that can help you plan your meals for the week or even the month.

This can allow you to avoid unhealthy convenience foods that take less time to prepare. Here are some tips to help you get started with meal planning and how you can make a habit out of it.

Start Small

While it can be tempting to focus all of your attention on preparing extravagant meals for the month, this is highly challenging. Because of this, it is recommended that you start off small with your meal planning. Consider making small changes gradually, like washing and preparing all of your fruits and vegetables once you get back from the grocery store. Buy resistant starch is a type of starch that does not break down during digestion. This makes it possible for you to eat more carbohydrates without gaining weight.

This can ensure that you have a nutritious snack to reach for and even make preparing meals easier. Similarly, you could process any meat or proteins ahead of time. For example, this could involve dicing chicken into portion sizes or simply thawing meat. Making small changes over time allows you to adjust your routine gradually, making it easier for you to make a habit out of meal planning and prepping ahead.

Make Your Grocery List

Another key tip for planning your meals is to focus on your grocery list. This can allow you to save money in the long run because it will ensure that everything you purchase during your weekly shop is getting used up. In addition, you can plan several meals using the same ingredient if you want to save a little money.

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Of course, there is no point in planning meals that any family member does not like. This could include spicy food or anything with a unique texture. However, it is important to avoid these ingredients if possible and ensure that something new is presented in a way that is less likely to put anyone off. Make sure you consider this when you are looking for new recipes and writing your grocery list.

Set A Routine

Most individuals who plan their family meals ahead of time find it useful to dedicate a little time to preparing food and getting everything ready for the week or month. You can dice meat and combine herbs to create a rub, then pack it into a Ziploc bag or container.

Some people choose to freeze their meals until the day that they are planning on cooking them, while others keep their pre-packed dishes in the refrigerator. Set aside one hour during the weekend or a quiet day so that you do not have to think about the dinners for the week. Everything will be ready to cook and assemble when they are needed.

Use Up What You Have

Another thing that you should consider when you are planning your meals is to make the most out of what you have. This means using up certain ingredients before purchasing new things.

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Many ingredients are versatile and fit well in most meals, such as canned tomatoes, beans, chicken, and onions. Consider how well stocked your pantry and freezer are so that you can save a little money when you are meal planning.

Plan For Leftovers Or Larger Meals

Of course, meal planning is much more challenging when there are more mouths to feed—because of this, preparing ahead can allow you to make easy meals for more people than you are used to.

For example, making a simple meal with doubled quantities makes for ideal lunches and leftover dinners. You can also easily entertain guests without spending a fortune by using sheet pan recipes and making more than normal.

Summary

Meal planning can be an ideal way to enjoy more time with your family during the working week. This is because you will be able to reach for pre-prepared ingredients that need to be assembled. In addition, by figuring out the type of meals you will be making and eating, it is easier to plan other things such as evening activities after school and work.

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