Meal planning can be an enormous task. Not only does it require time and dedication, but meal planning also saves money, cooks healthy meals, brings family together, and offers opportunities for savings.
As it’s impossible for any plan to be 100% perfect, here are a few strategies for helping you stick with and achieve success with your meal plan.
1. Make a list.
Meal planning can be an invaluable way to reduce dinner-time stress while improving health by eating more nutritous food. But to ensure it suits YOUR lifestyle and habits, be flexible with your plans!
People turn to meal planning for various reasons: to save time, cook nutritious meals at home without breaking their budget, improve their diet or gather their family at mealtimes. Whatever your motivation may be, step one in any successful meal planning strategy is identifying your goals – then setting an achievable timetable to achieve them!
Once you’ve identified your goal, the next step should be creating a plan! Use a free meal planning template or app to write out each day and meal you wish to include that week or month, along with any budget-based considerations such as an estimated weekly or monthly food expenditure total.
As you plan your meals, go through your freezer and cupboards to assess which ingredients you already have on hand. Make a list of any additional items needed (like instant oatmeal or salad kits ) which might need purchasing; note any snacks or convenience items ( like instant oatmeal or salad kits ). When possible, plan meals using recipes which call for ingredients found within your pantry and fridge to minimize wasteful spending and unnecessary spending.
Set aside time each week (ideally on the same day) to plan out and select meals for the week ahead, create your grocery list, and prepare any foods that require cooking or storage (e.g. chopping veggies or grains). By doing this, a nutritious and balanced meal plan will always be at hand when time or energy are limited or you simply don’t feel like making decisions!
2. Make it public.
Many nutrition professionals provide meal planning as part of their services, yet not all are effectively marketing this offering to attract clients and foster trust with them. With some strategic tweaks, RDs can more successfully market meal planning services while building successful nutrition businesses.
Make sure to showcase your meal planning offerings on your website, social media and newsletters so prospective clients are aware of what services are being provided. Offering free giveaways like sample meal plans or recipe books as a free giveaway can also capture leads and nurture them into 1:1 clients by giving them content that reinforces the value of your services.
Give prospects an insider look into your process for creating meal plans for clients so that they understand the level of work and care that goes into creating custom meal plans, which in turn demonstrates that meal planning is not a quick fix but an ongoing process to help achieve their long-term goals.
Consider holding a webinar or cooking demonstration to maximize value for your audience. This gives you an opportunity to speak directly with them, answer any questions they might have, and demonstrate how they can start meal planning on their own – it’s a win-win scenario! You can create both public and private Menus using the Menu Editor; private ones are distinguished by a lock icon in the Editor. Once completed, simply save or exit.
3. Make it fun.
Food planning shouldn’t feel like an overwhelming chore. If it becomes tiresome or tedious for you, think about how you could change up the process to make it more fun and enjoyable for yourself.
Meal planning doesn’t need to be an exclusively solo endeavor; in fact, the more people involved the better! Encourage everyone in your household to help plan meals by asking them their favourite dishes; that way you can develop a menu plan tailored specifically for each person’s preferences and dietary restrictions.
Failure can sometimes happen when it comes to dinner recipes – but don’t let that discourage you! Take this as an opportunity to experiment with new dishes that might become family favourites while swapping out those your family doesn’t enjoy for more satisfying options.
Another tip for success in planning is to make sure that both your pantry and freezer contain all the ingredients you need for the week ahead, thus eliminating last minute dashes to the supermarket and food waste. You should also set aside one or two days each month when you prepare meals to store away in either fridge or freezer for quick and easy meal options if inspiration or time run short.
As you write your meal plan, it is wise to include snacks. This can help stave off hunger throughout the day while limiting temptation to indulge in unhealthy treats like chocolate bars. Create a separate snack list or include them within your main plan and prep them on the same day as lunch and dinner preparation.
Meal planning requires practice, but can be a powerful way to save both time and money while getting your family eating more healthily. Be patient while practicing this new skill – soon you’ll become an expert!
4. Make it simple.
Meal plans that are overly detailed and complex can be helpful, but they could also feel daunting for others. Aim for a manageable level of complexity that meets your needs if you’re just starting out – post it on your fridge or calendar app so it will be easier to stick to!
Make sure to incorporate variety into your weekly meal plan! Consuming only healthy food can become tiresome after awhile; explore new recipes and incorporate the ones that resonate most into your menu plan.
Meal planning can be cost effective when you focus on using ingredients already present in the pantry and freezer. Making a list of what you need for the week ahead will help ensure you don’t buy more food before using what’s already there. Try creating one-pan meals or simple dinners that can serve as leftovers to bring lunch on another day.
Consider also the quality of the ingredients you eat – this means limiting processed food consumption and opting for whole, natural sources like grass-fed meats, organic produce, and nutrient dense vegetables that your body will thank you for!
Last, but certainly not least, remember to give yourself grace if some days or evenings go awry with your meal plan. Meal planning is a skill worth developing over time! By following the above tips you will soon find yourself on your journey toward weekly meal prep success.
Are you embarking on the exciting world of delicious and nutritious meal preparation? Why not contact Rosemarys? Our experienced chefs can assist in finding the ideal recipes to suit both yourself and your family’s individual needs.
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