Dinner is the last meal of the day and a time when families can get together and discuss their day. It is also a hectic meal for busy moms who are just getting off of work or who have been busy with other activities all day. Forget trying to get a healthy meal on the table, busy moms are just trying to get something edible on the table. These meal planning tips for busy moms are sure to help!
We could all take the easy way out and whip out the pre-made chemical-laden food so we have more time for ourselves. But in the end those foods will send everyone into a spiral of disastrous health. If you are a busy mom or you know a busy mom, here are some meal planning tips to help make dinner meals easy and even fun.
This is one of the most important planning tips for meals. Especially if you're trying to stick to any kind of therapeutic meal plan or diet. Knowing what you are going to eat throughout the week means less chance that you will stop off at the closest fast food joint for a convenient, but unhealthy meal. Decide on the last day of the previous week (let’s say Saturday for the sake of argument) what the menu will be for the following week. Create your shopping list from the list of ingredients to avoid buying what you don’t need at the grocery store.
Clip coupons, read advertising circulars and the like to decide where the best grocery to shop is for your menu items. If one ingredient is a common denominator in many meals, consider buying in bulk to save money. Common staples like almond milk, cream, cheese, eggs, sweeteners, and nut flours can be bought in bulk as well. Some stores will have double or triple coupon days when you can save even more.
Search New Recipes
After a while your family will get tired of chicken and rice every Thursday. You can get into a rut sometimes. Use the Internet to search for new and exciting recipes. Learn to put a twist on old recipes for a new taste.
After preparing meals for five or six days, there is bound to be some food left over. Designate one night to be leftover night and let everyone mix and match for dinner. It saves mom from having to throw away any food.
Cook in Advance
After deciding on a menu plan for the week, go ahead and fix as many meals as you can. Choose a day when the entire family can help like Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon. Each person can take one meal and fix it for the following week. Once everything has cooled, store it in sealed containers or casserole dishes to be frozen until the night it is needed.
Prep in Advance
All of the meals can’t be cooked at once. Some foods just taste better freshly prepared. For them, so as much prep work in advance as you can. Enlist your kids to help chop (give them the kitchen shears instead) vegetables, dice cooked meat and mix together dry ingredients. The night of the meal, all that is needed is to add the wet ingredients and bake.
Mealtime doesn’t have to be all on mom. Hopefully these meal planning tips help you get more organized and save time. Don't forget, you don't have to do it all yourself! The entire family can help with dinner so it is a relaxing meal for everyone and you all stay on plan and eat healthily.
Once you've got the hang of meal planning, check out my tips for exercises that you can do anywhere!