Being Marge: How To Create A Healthy Meal Plan - Review by Marge Brown

Monday, March 16, 2015

How To Create A Healthy Meal Plan - Review by Marge Brown

 I invite you to read and SHARE this helpful article on healthy meal planning from my friend, Jessica.

How To Create A Healthy Meal Plan

By Jessica Negrini
Do you struggle when it comes to planning meals? I thought I would share “How To Create A Healthy Meal Plan. In the past, I always struggled in this area of nutrition, and even though I had good intentions of cooking healthy dinners, time would get away from me. Work and other excuses would take over, and BAM I’d be ordering pizza for the family! Not that I’m against pizza or anything, but it’s better for our lifestyles (and our wallets) to not be ordering food out, but rather cooking healthy food at home. Besides, I LOVE to cook, and I love to come up with recipes are healthy AND tasty!
So, I figured out some tricks that work for me, and hopefully they can help you too!
Focusing on one day a week (Sundays for me), I realized I could get more done than I thought I could. I could plan, shop, AND prep, and be set for the upcoming week! Sundays may not work for you depending on your work schedule but any day off could be used.

How To Create A Healthy Meal

I start with the dinner menu for the week. As a typical, crazy-busy family, we decide what we want for dinners based around the protein, how long it needs to cook or heat up, AND what after-school activities we have that day. Then we decide what kinds of veggies and side dishes would go well with the protein. Once dinner is decided, the rest of the meals and snacks are fairly simple. Often we will have leftovers for lunch, and we always have plenty of fruits, veggies and other easy to grab (but still healthy) options for breakfast and snacks.
I check the pantry, fridge, and freezer to see what we have and what we need at the store based on our menu, and food shopping is next. Many things I buy in bulk, especially foods that can easily be frozen and thawed for future meals. This helps keep the budget on track, too.
After shopping, it’s prep time. For me, this typically means baking some chicken breasts, washing and chopping fruits and veggies, and portioning them in easy to grab plastic baggies or containers. I also make home made salad dressings. Meal prep could be different for you depending on your family size and what you eat, but portioning the food items is the biggest help to me regardless. That way there are “grab and go” items, or if we need a quick dinner, it’s all ready to be heated up and gobbled up!
Even though it took some trial and error to see what worked in my house, I now LOVE meal planning, and I’ve become really good at it! Don’t think we don’t order pizza now and again, but for the most part, we are now able to eat healthy and delicious food at home as a family! Try some different things to find what works for you, and make it fun! Happy Planning!