Meal Planning that works for your entire family can be a bit of a challenge sometimes! Create a Healthy Meal Plan that Works for your family, easily with this simple tips!
With all the advice on what you should and should not be eating, it’s hard to get it all straight. So, I wanted to share some of the ways I keep my family meals on track each week with this post on How to Create a Healthy Meal Plan for your family!
It doesn’t have to be hard or even stressful. Just come up with a meal plan that works for you and stick with it!
How To Create A Healthy Meal Plan For Your Family – Easily!
What constitutes a well-balanced diet?
Reading a lot of different information about a well-balanced diet doesn’t actually help me, in practical terms, what my family and I should be eating each day. There is a lot of: “eat plenty of protein”, “not so much dairy” and “plenty of fruit and vegetables”. But what portion-size does some and plenty actually equate to?
I found the easiest way to provide a healthy meal is to divide the plate into three sections. Half the plate should be taken up with vegetables. The other half should include an equal share of lean protein and whole grains. However, there are other ways of figuring out how to have a healthy diet, including calorie counting or using the food pyramid. It is worth researching all the methods to find out which one works best for you.
To make it easier, there is a number of healthy eating online resources and apps you can download to your smartphone or tablet, like My Fitness Pal. These will provide advice and support and can even assess your family diet and where you could be eating less of one thing and more of another. Or you can even get containers that will help you measure things easily! Like these 21-Day Fix portion control containers from Amazon.
—> Check out this post on 5 Easy Ways to Eat Healthy on a Budget!
How to organize a meal plan
It’s all about planning ahead. Creating a meal plan every week will help you plan a healthy balanced diet and will save you valuable time. I set aside an hour each weekend to plan the meals for the week ahead. I also check the in-store sales to plan my menu. That way I’m creating a meal plan that is budget friendly.
—> Check out this post on 7 Easy Ways to Create A Meal Plan!
Sample weekly meal planner
Here is a basic meal plan that I have tried in the past. I tend to use this as a template and just rotate the meals each week and add in new recipes. I try to stick to meals that are quick and easy to prepare.
Once I have completed the plan, I highlight all the ingredients that I need to buy. I also keep a note of all my previous meal plans in my household binder so I can reuse one at any time, saving me lots of time! Make sure to check out my FREE Meal Planner printable to help keep your organized!
In terms of servings, remember the divided plate idea or use the typical serving size recommended on the food packaging. If you are ever stuck for ideas, there are so many healthy recipes suggestions and meal planning ideas you can find online and right here in our recipe section!
—> Check out this post for Quick and Easy Weeknight Meal Solutions!
Sample Meal Plan
Breakfast: Oatmeal with milk and fresh fruit and nuts.
Lunch: Egg, lettuce, and tomato whole grain roll or sandwich with carrot sticks and a yogurt.
Breakfast: Oatmeal with milk topped with granola and a glass of fresh fruit juice.
Lunch: Tuna, egg, lettuce and cucumber on a whole wheat roll with apple and cheese slices.
Dinner: Roasted vegetable pasta with a mixed green salad.
Breakfast: Oatmeal with fresh berries and a spoonful of honey.
Dinner: Steak with sweet potato and green vegetables.
Breakfast: Half a whole wheat bagel, followed by a piece of fruit.
Lunch: Ham, cheese, and lettuce sandwiches on whole wheat bread and a fresh fruit salad.
Dinner: Baked potato with cottage cheese and mixed salad.
Breakfast: Oatmeal topped with fresh fruit and chopped nuts and a glass of fruit juice.
Lunch: Whole grain pasta and vegetable salad, followed by a yogurt.
Dinner: Family choice! In our family, this is usually pizza!
Tips to keep in mind for meal planning
- Drink plenty of water. To ensure you are drinking enough, provide a glass of water with each meal and drink through the day. It’s best to avoid sodas and sugary drinks.
- At least half of your weekly intake of bread and cereals should be whole grain.
- Avoid highly processed lunch meats as these are high in saturated fats.
- Limit the amount of red meat your family eats per week. I tend to limit this to once or twice per week and use plenty of fish, chicken and vegetarian options for the other meals.
- Ensure everyone eats their five fruit and vegetables every day.
- Swap sugary treats with healthy snacks such as apple slices dipped in peanut butter and fresh fruit juices.
There is a lot of information to get your head around when trying to provide your family with healthy meals. My main advice for parents who are struggling is to plan ahead and to make meals at home instead of buying pre-prepared, processed meals.
Planning ahead does not need to be time-consuming. Quickly you’ll get into the swing of making your own meal plan and will begin rotating weekly meal plans. It’s a great way to save time!
Preparing foods at home means you know exactly what goes into your food and you can feed your family the very best!
I hope this helps you to create a meal plan that works for your family with ease!